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U-20 team manager stresses ‘conqueror’s mindset’

Posted June. 11, 2019 07:31,   

Updated June. 11, 2019 07:31


Arriving in Lublin, Poland, the venue for semi-final round of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Chung Jeong-yong, the head coach of Korean U-20 National Team (50·pictured) who revived the feat for Korean football for the first time in 36 years, stressed the importance of taking on a “conqueror’s mindset.” It was an expression‎ of his passion to visit as many cities as possible, considering that the venues are switched for each and every stage of the tournament.

So far, Korea has played in four different places among the total of six host cities. The venue for the semi-final round is Lublin, where they fought Japan for the octo-finals, but the third-place match will take place in Gdynia, and the final round in Łódź. Those are the two cities Chung’s Team Korea hasn’t visited yet. “We’ve been to Lublin before, and the final will take place in a new place,” said Manager Chung with a renewed commitment. “We will make thorough preparation with a conqueror’s mindset.”

There is a good possibility of Team Korea’s exploring unchartered waters this time. If they beat Ecuador, Korea will make it to the final of this tournament for the first time in history. If it comes to that, Korea will set foot in Łódź and fight for the championship, both a first for the country.

“After Senegal, I told my players in the dressing room now that I kept the promise I had made for them (reaching semi-finals), it is their turn to keep their promise with the citizens (winning the championship),” Chung said with a laugh. “It won’t be easy, but I try to think that the situation is not so different for the others. Their strategy is another variable. I will decide on the final squad after checking our players’ condition.”

For Korea, Lublin is a “land of promise” where Manager Chung won a 1-0 victory against Japan thanks to Oh Se-hoon’s header. When asked about his return to Lublin, Chung still seemed excited over the miraculous victory his team pulled off against Senegal, saying that his memory from a day earlier is much clearer than the match with Japan. Yet, he said he expects promising results as he has a good memory about the city and the teamwork is good as well.

Seung-Kun Lee why@donga.com