Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper has heaped praise on Hwang Ui-jo after his performance against Notts County on Saturday. The South Korean striker made his first outing in a Forest shirt after signing for the club last summer.
Forest landed Hwang from Bordeaux for a fee of £4 million. He was immediately loaned out to Olympiacos and in January he was sent back to his homeland to sign for FC Seoul on another loan.
Now, Hwang is back at Forest looking to stake his claim for a place. He did his chances no harm at all on Saturday by scoring with practically his first touch after being introduced at half-time.
Hwang will hope to keep impressing his head coach over in Spain. The Reds will play Valencia and Levante between now and the weekend, with the striker expecting to get more minutes.
The striker did look like a bit of a strange signing from a Forest perspective. However, Cooper enjoyed his performance on Saturday and praised him afterwards.
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Cooper told Nottinghamshire Live: “He took his goal well. None of the strikers got loads of service, because we didn’t put that sort of level of teams out, with the two mixed teams in each half.
“But you could see from Hwang’s work rate that he does make a lot of good runs.
“It was great to see him take his goal because that’s what all the players want to do. Let’s see on that one.”
Cooper impressed with Forest striker Hwang Ui-jo
It’s good to see some of the club’s fringe players do the business and try to prove their worth. It still looks unlikely that Hwang will remain at Forest but he’s at least putting himself in the shop window.
Forest striker Hwang will be craving first-team football next season. It has to be said that he’s unlikely to be registered by the Reds and he will be expected to leave.
Still, Cooper appears open-minded about it all. His comments seem to suggest that if he does perform well in pre-season, he might just have a chance of gaining a Forest opportunity.