Nat’l team coach vows to play attacking football in friendlies

September 11, 2017
South Korea's national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong (L) holds the national football team jersey with Roh Tae-kang, the second vice minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, at an event to promote reservations of commemorative coins for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics at the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Sept. 11, 2017. (Yonhap)

South Korea’s national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong (L) holds the national football team jersey with Roh Tae-kang, the second vice minister of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, at an event to promote reservations of commemorative coins for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics at the KEB Hana Bank headquarters in Seoul on Sept. 11, 2017. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s national football team head coach Shin Tae-yong said Monday his side will play attacking football in upcoming friendly matches for its preparations for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

South Korea clinched its ninth consecutive World Cup appearance last week after finishing runners-up in Group A in the final Asian qualifying round. In Asia, the top two teams each in Groups A and B directly advance to the World Cup in Russia, while third-placed teams have to enter a playoffs to earn a berth.

Although Shin led South Korea to the World Cup, he was criticized by fans here for uninspiring performances against Iran and Uzbekistan. South Korea finished their last two qualifying matches with scoreless draws.

Shin, who took over the helm, admitted that his side put the emphasis on defense in the last two matches, but with a World Cup ticket in his hands, he will display his usual attacking style of football in friendlies next month. South Korea will face the 2018 World Cup hosts Russia in Moscow on Oct. 7 and face Tunisia three days later in Cannes, France.

South Korea are also trying to have two friendly matches at home with South American or Central American teams in November.

“I couldn’t play my style of football in the last two matches, because our priority was to qualify for the World Cup,” Shin said to reporters after attending an event for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics in Seoul. “But now, I will show my style of football, and I will try to give hope to the fans.”

For the two friendlies in October, the 46-year-old coach said he will try to test new faces and form his roster mainly with Europe-based players.

“We’re entering a process where I should implement my style of football,” he said. “I will check the national players in Europe and will think about squad selection later.”

To display his attacking football, Shin said the players who are ready for such style of play will get the nod.

“The players need to be ready to attack when they get the ball,” he said. “Those who play aggressively from passing to ball control will be selected.”

Meanwhile, Shin became the first person to make reservations for commemorative coins for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics.

“I hope South Korea perform well at the Winter Olympics, and the national team reaches the round of 16 at the World Cup in Russia.”

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