S. Korean football coach hints at changes for friendly vs. Poland

By Yonhap
  • Published : Mar 27, 2018 - 09:27
  • Updated : Mar 27, 2018 - 09:27

CHORZOW -- South Korea national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong has hinted at changes for the friendly against Poland.

South Korea, ranked 59th in the latest FIFA rankings, will face No. 6 Poland at Silesian Stadium in Chorzow, Poland. The match will start at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday (Poland time) or 3:45 a.m. Wednesday (Seoul time).

Shin on Monday said there could be a possible change of players and tactics for the upcoming match but didn't unveil details. The 48-year-old coach brought 23 players with him, and six of them didn't play in South Korea's 2-1 loss to Northern Ireland last week. 

South Korea men`s national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong (R) speaks at a press conference at Silesian Stadium in Chorzow, Poland, on March 26, 2018, one day ahead of South Korea`s friendly match against Poland. (Yonhap)

"We created lots of chances against Northern Ireland, but we couldn't finish them," Shin said at a press conference at Silesian Stadium. "I don't think it will be easy to have a good game and create chances against Poland."

Against Northern Ireland last week, Shin used a 4-3-3 formation featuring towering striker Kim Shin-wook with Son Heung-min and Kwon Chang-hoon on the wings. When they were on defense, Shin's side switched to a 4-4-2 system.

The friendly against Poland is likely to be South Korea's last test before they announce the final squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. For this reason, Shin is expected to use the players who didn't feature in the friendly against Northern Ireland.

"Poland are the strongest opponents that I have faced since I became the head coach of this team," said Shin, who took the helm in July 2017. "We'll try to test our strength and find our problems through this match."

South Korea are in Group F with Germany, Mexico and Sweden at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Shin said Poland resemble Germany.

"Poland are strong, and they are similar to Germany," he said.

"They have power and are good at passing plays."

 Poland are likely to give a stern test to South Korea with their striker Robert Lewandowski. The Bayern Munich target man was the leading scorer in the European World Cup qualifying campaign with 16 goals.

"We all know he is a top-class player and one of the best players on Bayern Munich," he said. "We're preparing how to organize our defense against world-class players."

Some of the players from Shin's team were criticized for their poor performance in the friendly against Northern Ireland. For the upcoming match, Shin asked for warm support from fans.

"It's a big loss if our players are discouraged and can't show their talent on the pitch," he said. "I hope fans and media can support and encourage our players so that they can display their best performance."(Yonhap)