Hwang Seon-hong’s positive attitude towards Lee Kang-in…”Willing to play, injury will take 15 days”

Asian Games head coach Hwang Sun-hong has revealed how things are progressing with Lee Sang-min (Seongnam FC), who has been left out of the final roster, and Lee Kang-in (PSG), whose participation in the squad is still unclear.

Hwang’s Asian Games squad will convene at Paju NFC on the 25th for a three-day training camp. They will be looking to win their third consecutive Asian Games gold medal after winning gold at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and 2018 Jakarta-Palembang.

The Hangzhou Asian Games were scheduled to be held in 2022 but were postponed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The age of the competition has also been increased by one year, from 23 to 24, and the final roster size has been raised to 22.

Head coach Hwang Sun-hong announced the final roster for the Asian Games on Thursday. Lee Kang-in, who moved to Paris Saint-Germain in France, was included, while Park Jin-seop, Baek Seung-ho (Jeonbuk) and Seol Young-woo (Ulsan) were selected as over-24 wildcards.

The 14-man squad excludes Baek Seung-ho, Seol Young-woo, Hwang Jae-won (Daegu FC), overseas players Lee Kang-in, Park Kyu-hyun (Dynamo Dresden), Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart) and Hong Hyun-seok (KAA Hent), who are participating in the Coupang Play Series, and Lee Sang-min, who was named to the roster but was removed due to a drink-driving scandal.

The KFA has asked the Asian Games organisers, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), if it can find a replacement for Lee Sang-min, and is also in talks with Lee’s club, PSG, about sending him to the Asian Games.

In an interview prior to the training session, coach Hwang Sun-hong said that he was “making every effort” to find a replacement, and was optimistic about Lee Kang-in, saying that he was “thinking positively”.

The following is the full interview with Hwang Sun-hong.

-On the purpose of this training.

“We don’t have that much time to get together. We need to keep in touch and communicate. When preparing for a competition, the overall organisation is important, but the details are also very important. We’re trying to have a short but good time.”

-On not being able to train fully with only 14 players selected.

“It’s hard to do a full workout because we don’t have the right balance of positions. Defensively, we’ll work on the back four, and in attack, we’ll work on decision-making. It’s hard to do something tactically because we’re not a complete unit. We’re going to talk about what we need in the first team and what we need to work on in the next two months back at home.”

-On the situation with Lee Sang-min.

“The KFA told me that they’re doing a lot of work to make sure there’s no leakage of power. But it’s hard to say because it’s not a definite situation. We need time. Please be patient.”

-On when he will be able to train fully.

“The plan is that we want to start with a full squad in September during the A-match, but there are a lot of things that can happen with Lee Kang-in and the A-team. We’re thinking about the plan for A, B, and C, the number of people, and different training sessions.”

-On having to compete with 20 or 21 athletes in a worst-case scenario.

“I’m thinking about it. I hope it doesn’t happen, but it’s something that can happen. I’m trying to plan for that. I’m thinking about it. I have to think about it until I make a decision.”온라인바카라

-On the status of Lee Kang-in’s call-up.

“I can’t say too much. When I signed with PSG, I confirmed that there was a positive exchange. It’s difficult to say yes or no because we don’t have everything in writing. We are thinking positively. I know that Lee Kang-in is very determined to compete in the Asian Games, so I’m positive.”

-On Lee Kang-in’s recent injury.

“I was told that he will need up to a fortnight. I say it’s not serious, but you have to be careful with muscles because you don’t know when or how they’re going to give you problems again. I think it will recover well enough because I have time before the competition.”

-On the selection process and the pressure of the two-game series against China following criticism.

“Pressure is part of the national team. I understand the fans’ expectations. As a coach, you have to accept them all and try to fulfil them. As a national team coach or player, you have to give it your all and do your best, no matter what the situation, no matter what the conditions. That’s how I feel right now.”

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