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Daejeon Citizen Manager Ko Jongsoo: "We can get a result against Busan"

Ko Jongsoo Daejeon Citizen
Daejeon Citizen booked their place in the K League 2 Promotion Final  and will square off against Busan IPark this Saturday afternoon. A 1-0 win at home to Gwangju was enough to see the Purples through. Speaking after the game, K League United caught up with Citizen gaffer Ko Jongsoo.

Daejeon Citizen eased their way into the Promotion Final thanks to a 1-0 win against Gwangju FC at Purple Arena on Wednesday night, with Romanian forward Aurelian Chițu sliding in at the back post to turn in a low, drilled Park Sooil cross in the 68th miute. Chițu has been a mainstay in the Daejeon lineup since his arrival at the start of the season, as has skipper Ahn Sanghyeon and, since returning from military service, Hwang Inbeom.

Chițu scored his 13th goal of the campaign against Gwangju on Wednesday
However, to the surprise of most, the latter were both omitted from the matchday squad. Hwang Inbeom confirmed before kick off that hehad picked up a slight knee injury on international duty with Korea in Australia whilst Ahn Sanghyeon had picked up a knock in training.

But, even without two key players in the centre of the field, Daejeon manager Ko Jongsoo asserted that he had total faith in the players who came into the side.

"Even before Hwang Inbeom came back we had young players who performed very well so I had belief in them. Even from the beginning of the season I have had plenty of belief in them and we have got good results.

"At the moment we are unable to say exactly whether they (Hwang Inbeom and Ahn Sanghyeon) will be fit (for Saturday) but they will be assessed by the club's physios and doctor tomorrow and we should know before Friday", added Ko.

Ahn Sanghyeon (C) in action against Busan this season
The win, coupled with the comeback against Anyang on the last day of the season, ought to give Daejeon confidence heading into to the trip to Busan on Saturday. However, Ko, a former Citizen player himself, still believes that there is work to be done heading into Saturday's game.

"In football, I don't think it's just a case of having confidence. But, because of Busan's style and how well they play we have to do the things that we do well and try to step up a gear. We've played Wednesday and now we have a game on Saturday and so fatigue is a bit of a concern but if we play how I know we can then I think it shouldn't be much of an issue."

In the first half, the Purples had to cope with a lot of pressure from Gwangju with Felipe the focal point of their attack. However, Daejeon defended resolutely and, although lacking in composure at times, went in at the break at 0-0.

In the second half, when Shin Hakyoung was introduced, Citizen became more composure and had more purpose about them, rather than trying to play on the counter-attack - something which Ko Jongsoo revealed was part of his game plan.

"Na Sangho, who wasn't playing, is really quick but because Felipe is very tall we knew that he would be able to hold the ball up. In the first half we thought about nothing else other than trying to win the second balls and to break on the counter. In a 3-4-3 formation I picked players that could try and match Gwangju but because there were lots of balls in behind I don't think we got our head on the ball enough, primarily because with Felipe's height he is able to bring the ball down, it is something that Gwangju as a team do well."

Daejeon will now head to the Gudeok Stadium to take on Busan IPark this Saturday at 16:00 KST.

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