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National Team Progress Pleases Coaches

Posted February. 02, 2006 06:04,   


“We’ve greatly improved our stamina and our understanding of strategy compared to 2002,” said national team coaches Pim Verbeek and Hong Myung-bo, as they talked about the progress of the Korean national soccer team at a press conference yesterday.

“There were 10 evaluation matches over a four-month period in 2002. This time, it’s 10 games in 6 weeks. There is a lot of difference there,” said Verbeek. “The four-back defense is working out well except for a few mistakes that are being covered, and our cover play is getting better. Although we don’t have the stamina enhancement program we had with Guss Hiddink, we will be meeting this need in May.” Verbeek added, “We need what Hong Myung-bo was to the team back in 2002: someone who can work the strategies into situations on the field.”

Hong said, “In 2002, there was tension between young and veteran players, but now there’s more harmony on the team. The good run we had in 2002 might be a mental burden to the players, but it could also be encouraging.”

Won-Hong Lee bluesky@donga.com