“I don’t think the players will lose easily.”
Pohang Steelers coach Kim Ki-dong said this after winning 1-0 against Suwon Samsung in the 9th round of the ‘Hanawon Q K League 1 2023’ held at Pohang Steel Yard on the 25th. With this victory, Pohang went undefeated with 5 wins and 4 draws in 9 matches. It is the only undefeated team in the K League 1.
We won, but it was not an easy match. Pohang played the ‘East Coast Derby’ against Ulsan Hyundai in the 8th round. And face-to-face with the lowest ranked Suwon. It’s not simply because I missed the victory I had in the ‘East Coast Derby’. After a big game, players tend to lose their nerves. Moreover, it was a mid-week game where I took two days off to digest. Even director Kim confessed, “I was worried a lot.” 안전놀이터
However, Pohang has definitely changed this season. In the 4th minute of the first half, Kim Seung-dae’s opening goal was defended to the end and succeeded in grabbing 3 points. No additional goals were scored, but Suwon did not allow a single effective shot. “The performance is not to my liking. He said, “It wasn’t the best (out of 9 games),” but “Still, the reason I feel that the team has become stronger is because I overcame a situation that could collapse. It’s unfortunate that we didn’t score an extra goal, but I want to highly appreciate that we didn’t concede.”
The next goal is to go undefeated in 11 matches in the first round. There are now 2 games left. The 9-game undefeated record is tied for 4th place after the introduction of the promotion and relegation system. The record of Jeonbuk (8 wins and 5 draws) in the 2021 season is also not a distant story. In the 2013 season, Pohang also had 6 wins and 5 draws. If Pohang, which is recording 5 wins and 4 draws, only records 1 win and 1 draw in the remaining 2 games, it will be tied with the 2013 season. Manager Kim said, “The players also said that they don’t think they will lose easily. I don’t know how long (the undefeated) will last, but I will try.”
Kim Seung-dae, the captain of Pohang this season and who started the season’s horseman’s catcher, spoke in a similar context. Kim Seung-dae, who looked back and said, “I didn’t think we would be so undefeated and at the top of the table, even during the first game,” said, “I think we are playing for each other. Not only domestic players, but also foreign players play hard. It would be a pity if we couldn’t go undefeated in the remaining two games of the first round robin. I tell the players that if they are going to do something, let’s do something big. If we don’t lose even once in the first round robin, (other teams) won’t easily look at Pohang from the second round onwards,” he stressed.