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Writer's Chat: Daegu vs Incheon

The first round of the Korean league has finished and it left Daegu and Incheon a defeat and a scar on their plan. This Saturday, Daegu will firstly host Incheon Utd at Daegu stadium since 2013. Now both teams are desperate to get three points to bounce back from the bottom of the table. Here, Daegu columnist, Muyeol, joins Incheon columnist, Jun Kim to chat about the clash between Daegu and Incheon.

Muyeol Asks and Jun Kim Answers

Muyeol: Incheon Utd are notorious for a slow starter. They always start their season with poor performance, but they get their job done at the critical moment. Do you think this flow is going to last this season?

Jun: Yeah they had a real close one last season, where they literally escaped relegation on the last day of the regular season. Obviously Incheon don't want to see themselves in similar situation again this season, although Incheon started with 0-1 defeat against Jeju, we must admit that Jeju are one of the contenders; fingers crossed, Incheon will be able to pick up points against teams that are also in the same boat.

Muyeol: What points should be improved from your opening match's performance?

Jun: Lee Ki-hyung promised to go toe to toe with our opponents this season; however this didn't happen vs Jeju. Playing with 5 at the back, Incheon looked to counter against Jeju. Unfortunately our wide-men Song Si-woo and Kim Yong-hwan couldn't create much for Veselinović; leaving him isolated and fullbacks Choi Jong-hwan and Park Jong-jin were too busy defending.
Hopefully against Daegu, we will see Incheon put more pressure on Daegu defence and make them backpedal a bit.

Muyeol: Which players do you think we should be bewared of?

Jun: Incheon lost their inspirational centre back Jonjić in December, but luckily we seem to have found ourselves a new talisman in Gordan Bunoza. Bunoza did extremely well handling Jeju speedsters. Also he has a great aerial prowess that will definitely shine even up against K League's physical forwards. I'm sure Daegu attackers will find Bunoza difficult to crack down.

Jun Kim Asks and Muyeol Answers

Jun: Daegu are finally back in K League Classic after a 3-year hiatus; although you guys were close to promotion back in 2015 season, what has been the major difference between then and 2016?

Muyeol: From my perspective, I would say the major difference between 2015 and 2016 is “experience”. In 2015, we were also one of challengers to get a promotion and we fell at the final hurdle in the end. We were too inexperienced and foolish to run our squad during the whole season effectively and wisely. Our key players such as Johnathan, Eder, Lee Jong-sung, were worn-out or suspended for yellow cards when we needed to make a decision. However, in 2016, we grinded our teeth and made huge efforts to get a promotion. When we faced turbulence, what we did was that we did our best not to make a same mistake we did last year. In the end, we crossed the threshold we couldn’t cross in 2015 after beating Daejeon 1-0 with a striking goal by Cesinha.

Jun: Who are your key players?

Muyeol: Our crucial player is, I would say, Cesinha with 11 goals and 8 assists from 36 games last year. He sealed the promotion with his goal at the final round of last season and he is able to create many chances and crack defense line with his dribbling skills. Unfortunately, he was not very sharp against Gwangju but he will be okay soon.

Jun: What to expect from Daegu this season?

Muyeol: There’s nothing important than survival for us. If everything goes well as planned, you can see us smile at the final round, but if not, I am not sure. Then we need to find something else so that we can get motivated by the end of the season. And it would be interesting for you to see how many spectators will fill up the stadium.

Jun: Can you tell us a little bit about the new stadium project?
Muyeol: As I tweeted it, the construction is ongoing at where Daegu civic stadium was near Daegu Station. Until last February, the old stadium was mostly dismantled and now levelling is ongoing as far as I know. According to local press, the newly built stadium will have a capacity of 12,000 seats and will be football-specific. It will be made of convertible materials like aluminum so that it can be enlarged in case in the future.

A prototype of newly being built stadium
(photo via local newspaper http://imaeil.com)

Building up new stadium was introduced to the regeneration of this site as Samsung Lions(baseball club) moved in to the new ball park near Daegu stadium. So, by the end of next year, this region including stadium will be converted into football specific area and picnic parks for citizens. (Currently, auxiliary pitch is being used by Daegu FC for youth clubs) Besides, club house will be built up as well near Daegu Stadium. Both facilities will have finished by the end of next year.

Jun: How do you think the game (vs Incheon) will go?
Muyeol: Many Daegu fans were disappointed at the result of the first game of this season and some of them are already concerned about our future. Of course I am one of them. However, it was only a game played and still 35 games left to play. So, I will try to be positive. Definitely, we have to get 3 point from this game to bounce back.

Both teams would be fighting over 3 points but it doesn’t seem like many goals will be scored. I guess the game could go boring and the winner could be decided by only goal the late time. But I am not sure who is going to be a winner. Hopefully it would be us.

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