Talking Wolves presenter Dave Azzopardi has slammed the sections of the Molineux support that booed striker Hwang Hee-chan after he came on as a substitute in their most recent Premier League game.
Wolves secured their first top-flight win of the campaign this weekend and their first since April in a slender victory that took them to 14th place in the table.
Daniel Podence’s late first-half strike was enough to secure the points against Southampton, but despite recording their first league win in 13 attempts, Azzopardi was left disappointed by some of the home supporters, as they greeted Hwang’s introduction with boos.
Speaking after the game, he said: “Only disappointing thing for me was – people that watch the channel know that I’m not Hwang Hee-chan’s biggest fan. I’ve given him stick on the podcast before.
“I saw a lot of tweets saying, look, let’s just get Molineux rocking because we need the atmosphere, we need to get behind the team.
“And I thought, you know what, fair enough. There’s been negativity, I’ve questioned Bruno a little bit, I’ve questioned players a little bit, and I thought I’m just going to give support all the way through.
“Hwang Hee-chan came on and I thought, you know what, let’s support him. There were people around me booing him. You can have your say on a player, fair enough, but I don’t think you should ever boo a player.
“If you don’t want to cheer him, don’t cheer him, but just don’t boo him when he’s coming on and trying to defend a lead.”
TIF Thoughts on Wolves fans booing Hwang Hee-chan…
Booing your own player literally goes against the idea of supporting your team. There’s little wonder as to why Azzopardi is disappointed by this, as Wolves’ lead was in the balance at the time and they had only recently let a lead slip late on last weekend against Newcastle United – so creating a negative atmosphere at a time when the team needed the fans to get them over the line must have been incredibly frustrating for all concerned.
Does Hwang Hee-chan have a future at Wolves?
It did not matter in the end, and while Hwang has not exactly impressed of late, having not found the net since February and averaged a 6.64 match rating from SofaScore this term – the fourth-worst in the squad – that would never justify giving a player who is trying to help his team that kind of treatment.
We would argue Hwang is hardly likely to react positively to this hostility as his form continues to suffer, so we do wonder what some Wolves supporters were thinking when booing a player simply for coming on – perhaps we would’ve played a blinder without extra pressure from the stands potentially on his mind.
Hopefully, the victory for Bruno Lage’s men will see them kick on and Hwang will take an opportunity soon enough – although the recent arrival of Sasa Kalajdzic could be yet another obstacle to overcome.