K리그1・2의 최신 소식을 모두 확인 할 수 있는 공간입니다.
"Yes, I'm so happy about about this because I had a big injury last year and I got surgery from my Achilles tendon, it was a difficult time everybody knows, when we have some problems like this, it's difficult to come back. It was a hard time. And I [was wondering if] I could I could work well, if I could come in good form, in good shape. Of course, I needed a little bit of time to adapt again. And at that time Daegu were not doing so good in the league. But when I came, we could play well, we could win the games and with my performances, I could score the goals and help the team. I was so happy and thankful for every one of my teammates to help me to win the Player of the Month. And I hope I can keep my high level and with the team we can keep like this all all season.
"Even when I didn't score last month, I could help the team with some assists, with some movements to open space to other players to score. This is my job. I need to, of course I'm striker, I need to score the goals, but when I can't score I have to help the team and find some space for Cesinha or for other players score. "
Your scored your first goal of the season against FC Seoul in Round 10 and then after that everything you touched seemed to turned to goals. Is that how it is sometimes as a striker?
"Yeah, sometimes we have like this feeling. We sometimes say our first thought is, if you give our first pass of the ball and it's right, we say 'Okay, this game will be good. And if the first pass or first shoot is a goal, it will be amazing.' And then against FC Seoul I started and I knew I was feeling okay, [that] I can score and I can play well. Then I scored and we won the game. It was a very difficult time for Daegu at that time, I think we just won one game against Ulsan, we lost many games and drew. We had to win that game."
How will playing in neutral venues impact the team during AFC Champions League? Will it be more difficult?
"Yes, yes. We know, in Korea we have one of the best stages for us to play and one of the worst stages for opponents to play. Without Corona, we have big support and I think when we play like we play now, [the stadium] can decide the game if it's 50-50, because nobody knows the stage. We are playing in a different country but we are going to concentrate 100%. And I don't know if we play 100% with our players because maybe we lose some for national team in Olympic Games. But of course whoever plays we will try to give the best."
How will the experience of 2019 help you this time?
"It was first time of Daegu in history to play in ACL and that time like I said, many players didn't have any experience in international competition. I tried to pass my experience to them. But now they are more experienced, they played more in the K League and now we know better how to play Champions League. Maybe we made mistakes that we did that time, we will not do again. And I hope we can have a good experiences again to play in Champions League."
Daegu did well, nearly qualified for knockouts but you scored four goals in six matches so it must have been mixed feelings for you?
"Yeah, it was it was good time personally. But I was disappointed because we didn't qualify (for knockouts). Just one point more and we would have qualified. If we had drawn against Guangzhou we qualify and there was an own goal (Jeong Tae-wook, 64 mins) and it was terrible for us. But like I said, we have to learn about this experience and try to not do the same mistakes and I hope that we do better."
How does a K League match compare to an ACL match? Is the tempo different?
"In ACL it's the biggest clubs or biggest clubs in each country. When we play against big clubs, they like to play football, they give space. But also they try to play, they try to score, they try to play attacking. And sometimes here in K League, of course, our teammates like to keep more defensive and just play more counter attacks, it's our style. But in Champions League, we play against good clubs, because they like to play, they give more space, it's a more beautiful game. And this is good for us too. But you have to adapt a little bit to this kind of game. I think this is different, this is one point of difference from K League. K League is more tough, more strong, you have to use more your body. In Champions League, we can play more we can more of a technical game."
How will Daegu's style help in ACL?
"We have to update a little bit our game to Champions League, but we cannot forget our strength, keep our team compact and playing on the counter attack. Sometimes it will be good chance for us to attack. Also, if they attack us too much we have to keep our shape and in one counter attack we can score and then keep our defence again. But we have to adapt a little bit, to the pace of who we will play, with players we have available to play, we have to adapt a little bit to play in Champions League."
With the form you are in as a team, the momentum from K League will help you in ACL, don't you think?
"Yes, we have to keep our good moments. Of course we cannot be satisfied we have to improve every day more. Sometimes we don't have much time to training something different. Because again, game-by-game, we have many games. But, individually we can improve sometimes, we can give a little bit more, train a little bit more. I usually come to the gym and do some different training. Also analysing videos and if we cannot improve by group because we don't have much time to like I think we can improve individually or minimal keep our level."
What are your thoughts on going straight to the group stage and not playing the playoff with Chaingrai United?
"I was talking to a Brazilian friend who plays in Thailand. He told me that he had spoken with some players from Chiangrai, they say they will not play against you and direct I called the Korean players from our team [to check]. I felt good because one step [closer] and we have a little bit more time to work better and to be good in the first game. We had that fear because we could win and we could lose that playoff game (with Chaingrai) and come back to Korea. Now we are direct in group stage and it's good for us."
What are your thoughts about the group and your opponents?
"We know that Champions League is not easy games. Always it is tough games. When we arrive there (Uzbekistan), we will study more the teams. Until now we are just focusing on our team, we travel Monday and we play on the 26th (27th Korea time) and we have time to study more the other teams, our opponents. But we know about history, if we check quickly about our opponents we know it's Kawasaki Frontale, the first team in Japan, we know they are too strong and Beijing also are big team in China. Honest, I don't know many things about the Philippines team but we take some information, they are training hard, they are training in Dubai in preparation for ACL so it's going to be difficult games."
How do you feel about playing Kawasaki Frontale in the first game, the champions of Japan?
"For me, I was talking with Cesi (Cesinha) about this, for me I prefer to play against Kawasaki first because we can show everything [that we can do] and if we beat them it's a good chance to get more points. And of course if we lose we have chance to return and win the next games. For me, I prefer to play against them first."