S. Korea ready to play ‘rough’ football: coach

By Yonhap
  • Published : Nov 6, 2017 - 21:20
  • Updated : Nov 6, 2017 - 21:20

South Korea football coach Shin Tae-yong said Monday the national team will now try to play “rough” against opponents in upcoming friendlies this month.

Shin, who took over the helm in July, has yet to collect a win with the national team even though he managed South Korea to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. While angry fans have been calling for his head, Shin said his side will play better in friendly matches at home against Colombia on Friday and Serbia four days later.

Shin Tae-yong (Yonhap)

“I know the atmosphere around the team is not good, but I’m sure we’ll see some hope through these two friendly matches,” Shin told reporters before training in Suwon, south of Seoul.

Shin said he hoped his team can play rough in these matches, so that they can leave a stronger impression on the opponents.

“I hope the players are not afraid of physical contact and that they can push the opponents harder,” he said. “With a strong mentality, we will pursue playing rough against the opponents.”

For the two matches, Shin will be with two veteran coaches who have won the World Cup and the UEFA European Championship crown with the Spain national team. The Korea Football Association recently announced that Toni Grande and Javier Minano -- who previously worked with Vicente Del Bosque at Real Madrid, Besiktas and the Spain national team -- have joined the Taeguk Warriors to assist Shin at the 2018 World Cup.

Some fans have voiced their concerns that the 48-year-old Shin working with the 70-year-old Grande may cause friction because of their age difference. But Shin said there’s nothing to worry about.

“There’s a difference between head coach and assistant coach,” he said. “They are coaches with substantial experience, and they have something that I don’t have. So I’m sure they will be a big help to us.”

Shin, who previously led South Korea’s under-23 and under-20 squads, said he is thinking of using Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-min as one of the two strikers up front, instead of putting him on the left wing in a three-forward system.

“I got some ideas by watching how Tottenham used Son in their matches,” he said. “Son may play in a two-forward system and infiltrate the opponent’s defense with his skills.”

Shin also promised that his side will display better defensive work this time around. South Korea gave up seven goals in friendlies against Russia and Morocco last month.

“I’m sure we’ll have better defense than what we had last month,” he said. “We now don’t have enough time to work with the players, so for these friendly matches, we’ll try to build our team chemistry and organize the team plays.” (Yonhap)