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FA Cup Writers' Chat: Gimhae FC vs Gangwon FC

FA Cup Round Four Preview: Gimhae FC vs Gangwon FC

It's FA Cup time, and Gimhae FC are looking for a 'giantkilling' as they take on Gangwon FC, who are two leagues above them. In the K League, Gangwon closed the gap on the top four with a 3-1 win against Jeju United at the weekend, but they'll be seeing the FA Cup as another way to earn an Asian Champions' League spot, and won't be taking Gimhae lightly. K League United's Gangwon FC writer Steve Price spoke to Elliot Morris from Gimhae FC Supporters Club.


Steve asks, Elliot answers


Steve Price: How important is a good cup run to Gimhae, and how will they approach this game?

Elliot Morris: Our manager, Yoon Seong-Hyo is known as Mr. FA Cup by our Korean fans. As such, we are hoping for a good run. A major problem with the National League is there is no promotion or relegation, so the cup is exciting as we get a chance to play different teams. 

Steve: Which players should we look out for? Who could potentially make the step up to K League 1 football?

Elliot: Our new Brazilian striker (Vitor) has been pretty good so far this season and contributed goals, becoming a fan favourite along the way. Ji Eon-Hak has done well and scored a few from midfield as well. Both our keepers have done fairly well this year  and they have definitely saved us a few points. As for moving up a league or two, I think a few of the players could. We currently have a young squad (I think only one player is over 30), so hopefully they can keep developing. 

Steve: Will Gimhae have many fans watching this one? What is the atmosphere generally like?

Elliot: Our attendance is good for the National League, so hopefully we will have a decent turn out. The crowd usually cheers and sometimes there is a band playing. The supporters club will be singing and dancing for the whole game! 

Steve: If Gimhae were to win these next two ties, who would be the perfect opponent in the next round of the cup?

Elliot: As fans, we have always wanted Jeju United away; a holiday and a game in one! We would also be keen on FC Seoul to play in the World Cup Stadium. Overall, we would like to play anyone not in our league as it adds a bit more interest for us. 


Elliot asks, Steve answers


Elliot Morris: You have outscored most teams but also conceded more than most teams in the K League. Is it right to assume you play an attacking and fairly open style? Can we hope to catch you on the counter? 

Steve Price: Gangwon like to push their wingbacks far up the pitch and plenty of sides have exploited the space in behind them this season with pacy counter-attacks. Gangwon have been slightly more conservative after the summer break (although you wouldn't know it by looking at the scorelines). However, their defenders aren't at the same level as the rest of their team. Valentinos and Oh Beom-seok rarely put a foot wrong but Gangwon's other defenders are error-prone. They're very susceptible to headed goals so any team with a quality targetman can expect some goals against Gangwon.

Elliot: Looking at the top scorers for the league, Uroš Ðerić is topping the charts. What type of striker is he? How many can we expect for him to put past us?!

Steve: I was going to say 'zero' as I thought Ðerić would be rested, but he only played 25 minutes on Saturday (and scored twice in that time) so he may start against Gimhae. If he doesn't start then Gimhae will still have to deal with Jung Jo-gook who was the top scorer in the K League two seasons ago so it won't be much easier for Gimhae to keep a clean sheet. Both players are standard targetmen but Ðerić has better technique than most and his shots are almost always accurate.

Elliot: Other than Ðerić, are there any key players we should wary of? 

Steve: Diego is a real handful to play against and should have played more than he has this season in my opinion. Moon Chang-jin is also a real threat, as is Jeong Seok-hwa, but the team are still in need of a replacement for Lee Geun-ho.

Elliot: How far do you hope to go in the cup? What are you expectations in the league this year? 

Steve: The aim is to qualify for the Asian Champions' League and Gangwon's supporters won't be happy with anything less than that, especially given the quality of players Gangwon have. I think they'll take this game very seriously and will play a strong side. Gangwon started on Saturday with Diego, Uroš Ðerić, and Moon Chang-jin on the bench, so these players are likely to be in the side against Gimhae.

Gimhae FC will host Gangwon FC in the FA Cup at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday 25th July.

We'd once again like to extend our thanks to Elliot for taking the time to provide insight to this fixture. Elliot is a member of the Gimhae FC Supporters Club. For more information on the group, you can head over to the Gimhae FC Facebook page or take a look at our profile on them in our From The Stands series.

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