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Interview Preview: Busan IPark Vs Suwon FC with Bruce Djité

Despite Suwon FC's relegation from the K League Classic last year, Australian striker Bruce Djite stayed with the club and has set his sights on firing Suwon back to the promised land. Suwon started the 2017 season brightly but are now on a run of just one win in their last nine matches, drawing five and losing three of their last four. But, in another K League United Exclusive, the former Adelaide United man sat down with columnist Paul Neat to discuss Sunday's clash with high-flying Busan IPark.

Image courtesy of Goal.com

Graphic from Soccerway,com
Bruce, it's been a bit of a tricky spell as of late, what has gone wrong?

"I don't know. We started really well and it just seems that we're in a bit of a rut at the moment. I've been in this sort of situation before I am of the opinion that you just have to get your head down and get through it; work hard and try to turn things around every day in training and in the games. 

"It's difficult, no doubt, and it's just like when you're on a good run like Gyeongnam; it's quite easy to keep winning, it becomes a habit, it just happens. You might think "we won that game, we were lucky" but if you keep repeating it then it becomes a habit. It's the same like when you're in a rut, when you're conceding goals late, if the referee has given a call against you, and you feel like everything is against you, it can become a habit too - a negative one. 

"I think we're in a position now where we just try to keep the good atmosphere amongst the boys, also keep working hard, everyone keep concentrating on their own individual job and put their head down. Our team is good enough, there's no doubt we'll turn it around. The belief hasn't fallen off a cliff or anything but it's not going to happen automatically, we've got to work at it.

"It's all about training hard, preparing well for the game. Just doing the basics right and getting back to the way we were playing at the start of the season. I think that's what we need to do to start to turn it around."

You've been to Busan already this season, got a good result down there, can the team take confidence from that result?

"We came back from 2-0 down as well so I think psychologically we're in a good spot. Especially, against Busan; I think they're a good team, they've shown it throughout this season so far, they're right up there. They won last weekend as well so their camp will be a happier place than ours at the moment but we're a couple of wins on the trot away from getting right back up there in amongst the mix as well so the sooner we can start to do that the better and hopefully it will be this Sunday against Busan."

Suwon are only three points of the playoffs, a win could put you right in the mix, couldn't it?

"It's very close competition from what I've seen. Any team can beat anyone on any given day, the players are all very good individually, technically - typical Korean type players. Like Seongnam, terrible start,  terrible - they're a good team. Now you're seeing that, they're starting to climb up of course which there was no doubt they were going to do eventually.  It's not a must win game where if we don't win the season's over, it's not one of those scenarios, it's just a matter of getting the train back on the tracks I guess."

Stay tuned for more from Bruce Djité on KLeagueUnited.com

A bit of previous

Previous Meetings

Of course, these two sides famously went head-to-head in the relegation/promotion playoff of 2015 which resulted in Suwon FC winning promoted to the K League Classic for the first time in their history.

Suwon won both legs thanks to with a 1-0 win at home on a wet and windy night in December 2015, a game which produced little else outside of Jung Minwoo's 85th minute striker which sealed the win.

The second leg, a2-0 win in Busan, came three days was another late show as Suwon left it until the 80th minute to take the lead, this time through Lim Seongtaek, before Brazilian forward Japa made sure of things in the 94th minute.

As Bruce Djite mentioned above, Suwon have already faced Busan at the Gudeok this season already, coming back from a 2-2 draw to earn themselves a valuable point.

Cha Younghwan and Lee Junghyup gave the home team the lead with goals on 22 and 56 minutes respectively before Adrian Leijer halved the deficit on 70 minutes before Lim Changgyun equalised just six minutes later.

Team News

Suwon will be without 31-year-old midfielder Hoon Jung who will sit the game out through suspension. The former Jeonbuk Hyundai man received his third yellow of the season during last week's 2-0 defeat to Gyeongnam.

Busan will be without striker Lee Junghyup as the Republic of Korea international has been ruled out for up to four weeks with an ankle injury.

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