Max Kilman embracing Wolves captaincy
Max Kilman says he is ‘embracing’ the captaincy at Wolves as he looks to take his game to the next level.
Following the departure of Ruben Neves in the summer, Kilman was promoted to captain under Julen Lopetegui and kept that role when Gary O’Neil took over.
Kilman had opportunities to leave, too, with Italian club Napoli seeing a £30million bid rejected, but the player never forced a move and instead signed a new deal.
The centre-back has found impressive consistency under O’Neil and is thriving in his new leadership role.
“Yeah I’m really enjoying it, I’ve always wanted to progress and this is another progression for me to become the captain of Wolves,” Kilman said.
“I’m embracing it and enjoying it and I want to carry on and keep helping the boys out and do my best for this club.
“Of course everyone’s leadership style is different.
“Mine is calm and collected and I use my voice when I need to to make sure we do the right things as a team.”
At the other end of the field, Wolves have an attacking unit that have found their form this season.
Pedro Neto was remarkable until his injury, while Hwang Hee-chan and Matheus Cunha have been constants in the side and fired them to mid-table.
Cunha assisted Hwang’s winner over Burnley in mid-week and Kilman has a lot of confidence in the forward line.
He said: “Yeah he’s (Hwang) been deadly in front of goal. Both of them (Hwang and Cunha) have been class and Pedro as well. Pablo came in and did really well. So we need to keep giving the ball to our front three, whoever is playing, and they will produce the magic. So credit to them.”
Hwang now has nine goals in all competitions and eight in the Premier League, while he has also scored in six of the last seven games at Molineux.
Kilman added: “He’s been brilliant. This season his eye for goal has been top and he’s scored some fantastic and crucial goals for us, so give credit to him and hopefully he can continue that.
“He has been phenomenal. Even when he’s not scoring he is always chipping in and really worked hard for the team.
“He has really excelled this season so credit to him and credit to the boys who are trying to find him with passes – Cunha, Pedro, Pablo - they’re really been trying to help him with that so all credit to all the boys. Channy has been phenomenal this season.”
Hwang has looked a different player under O’Neil, too, after being in and out of the team in recent seasons due to injury and issues with form.
And Kilman believes getting the best out of Hwang is down to the head coach’s man-management skills.
“I think he’s given him a bit more confidence,” Kilman said.
“Channy was in and out of the team quite a lot last season.
“This season he’s been playing a lot more and he’s really taken his chance.
“He’s been playing with much more confidence and getting on the front foot and creating chances for himself. Plus his finishing has been really good this season. He’s a really nice boy who arrived in England a couple of years ago and learning English was new to him.
“But he’s picked it up really well and he’s a really good lad – very polite and a real good guy.
“Credit to him, he deserves it all.”