DUBLIN -- South Korean men's national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong said Thursday he is still mulling over his options for Tottenham Hotspur attacker Son Heung-min in the upcoming friendly matches.
South Korea will take on Northern Ireland in Belfast on Saturday before they visit Poland on Tuesday. The two friendly matches are likely to be South Korea's last test before they announce the final roster for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Shin said he has yet to decide whether he should play Son at striker or left wing.
|South Korea men`s national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong speaks to his players before their training at FAI National Training Centre in Dublin on March 22, one day ahead of their friendly match against Northern Ireland in Belfast. (Yonhap)|
"Son Heung-min's position is not determined yet, so I can't say much about his partner as well," Shin said before training at FAI National Training Centre in Dublin. "I'm going to start my players based on their fitness and performance, not just for testing purposes."
At the 2018 World Cup, South Korea are in Group F with Germany, Mexico and Sweden. Shin said their friendly against Northern Ireland is to prepare for Sweden.
"Northern Ireland have a similar style of football to Sweden, and they are a counterattacking side," he said. "I'm not sure Northern Ireland will display their traditional style against us, but we'll try to find what we should prepare for when we meet Sweden."
With the 2018 World Cup less than three months away, Shin said what he emphasizes to the players at this moment is sacrifice and unity.
"All teams at the World Cup are stronger than us," he said. "I emphasize that if all 23 players make an extra effort, we don't have to be afraid of any team in the world. With a do-or-die mindset on the pitch, I told my players that we're not going to just fall down easily even if our opponents are the world No. 1 Germans." (Yonhap)