South Korea head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said Monday he would like to see his team take charge from the opening kickoff in their next friendly match against El Salvador.
The match kicks off at 8 p.m. at Daejeon World Cup Stadium in the central city of Daejeon.
South Korea suffered a 1-0 loss to Peru last Friday, leaving Klinsmann winless in three matches at the South Korean helm. The Taegeuk Warriors had a 2-2 draw against Colombia and then took a 2-1 loss against Uruguay in March.
At the prematch presser on the eve of the El Salvador game, Klinsmann said he wants South Korea to dictate the match and “not wait until something happens.”
“Against Peru, we lost one-versus-one battles in the first half an hour, and we went down a goal and we chased the game,” Klinsmann said. “Hopefully, the team does a lot better tomorrow. We have to be aggressive from the first second on.”
On paper, South Korea, at No. 27 in the FIFA rankings, should be favored against 75th-ranked El Salvador. The Central American nation lost to Japan 6-0 in their previous match last week, though Klinsmann guarded against any overconfidence on his players’ part.
“I told the team not to measure El Salvador on this defeat in Japan. The game was over after three minutes: first goal, penalty, red card and second goal,” Klinsmann said. “We will see a different El Salvador tomorrow night.”
Having talisman and captain Son Heung-min back in the mix should help Klinsmann’s bid for his first win on the South Korean bench, after the Tottenham Hotspur star sat out Friday while recovering from sports hernia surgery. The coach said, however, Son doesn’t yet have legs to play the full match and that he may bring the attacker off the bench in the second half, depending on the match situation.
Klinsmann said Son’s leadership off the field is just as valuable as his offense on the pitch, especially with four young players making their senior international debuts against Peru.
“His role off the field, for us coaches, is as important as on the field,” Klinsmann said. “You saw in the last game that four players earned their first caps for Korea. To guide these players through this process, we need someone like Sonny, with his experience, being on the players’ side. That’s why we’re so pleased. Obviously, when he’s on the field, we’re even happier.”
With Son, still in his prime at 30, leading the way, Klinsmann said he is “excited” about the current generation of players representing South Korea. He said he has taken calls from European coaches about South Korean players in the domestic K League and at the under-20 level.
“There’s so much to be proud of being a Korean football fan and so much to look forward to,” Klinsmann said. “I try to tell players to get hungrier and to be more confident. If you have a chance to play in Europe, go to Europe. There’s a lot happening here, and we coaches coming from abroad, we feel that. And we want to be part of this help, and push them and give them confidence.”
Source : Yonhap News