Gwangju FC head coach Lee Jung-hyo is pleased with his team’s progress, saying, “I’m curious to see how far I can go” after catching Ulsan Hyundai at the top of the K League 1.
Gwangju defeated Ulsan 2-0 on the road in the 29th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at Munsu Football Stadium in Ulsan on Wednesday afternoon.
With the win, Gwangju secured its 12th win of the season, surpassing the club’s record of 11 in 2016 and setting a new record for most wins in a single season in the top flight.
It was also their first win over Ulsan in eight years, since July 2015, and they are unbeaten in their last nine matches (W4 D5 L), putting them in a strong position to finish third in the round.
It’s especially encouraging that the team caught the leaders without a number of key players, including Uhm Ji Sung, who was sent to the U-23 national team, and Heo Yul and Asani, who have accumulated cautions.
In his post-match press conference, Lee said: “The football we want to play is always the same. I’m very proud of the players for fighting for the goal, for giving it their all,” said Lee.
“I have to do well for the players. The players are doing a good enough job, I just need to do a good job.” “Our analytical coach Park Won-kyo prepared for this match day in and day out. I want to give the victory to her for her hard work.”
As for foreign player Becca, who scored the ‘wonder goal’ that made it 2-0 in the ninth minute of the second half, Lee called for more effort.
“In the first half, I shouted at her a lot, mixing nutmegs, and I didn’t make her understand (the tactics), so I was the problem,” Lee said, “but I told her that her basic defensive position was not good.”
“I thought she’ll do better, so I’ll yell at her even more, mixing in nutmeg. I think Becca has a Korean style. She’s better at it,” he joked.
Now that Gwangju has set a club record for most wins in the top flight, each win is a new chapter in their history.
“It’s important to write new history, but the players, coaching staff and others have shown the environment of Gwangju FC (with their performances), so I can only hope that the city will give an answer,” Lee said.
“At the home game, I saw a sign asking us to build a sports field (for training), but the people who came before us couldn’t do it, and the new mayor, Kang Ki-jeong, is improving it for the players,” he said.
“The mayor is continuing to try to improve Gwangju, and I hope the people and fans of Gwangju recognise that,” he added.
On the other hand, Ulsan coach Hong Myung-bo, who has only managed one point in his last five matches, said, “The most regrettable thing was the first conceded goal.” He lamented, “I can’t feel the sense of responsibility and cohesion especially nowadays.”
“Of course, when we won the championship last year, we were dedicated to the team and got the result. We don’t see that at all now,” he said, adding, “We need to take a good hard 스포츠토토존 look at where the problem is.”