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Interview: Daegu FC Defender Park Byung-hyun

Interview: Daegu FC Defender Park Byung-hyun
Solid defender Park Byung-hyun officially joined Daegu FC once again on a permanent deal following a successful one-year loan  from K League 2 side, Busan IPark. Daegu FC Correspondent Muyeol Jung exclusively sat down with Park to discuss his thoughts on last year's performances and what 2019 season will be like before he flies to China for pre-season training camp.
(image by Muyeol Jung)

MYJ: Most Daegu fans were a bit sceptical of your move to the club in exchange for Park Tae-hong, former Daegu captain, ahead of 2018 because of a perceived lack of experience at professional level (Busan IPark, 2016; Gimhae City FC, 2017). However, you more than proved your value on the pitch. Last season, you were made 23 appearances, scored two goals and you were key part of FA Cup winning squad. What score out of 100 would you rate yourself?

BHP: I would give 50, personally. I came to Daegu FC in the first tier from National League (third tier of Korea football), which gave me a bit of excitement, but was also a bit of a mental burden that gave me butterflies at the same time as I was aware of high expectations from fans to make up for the void left by Park Tae-hong. At the beginning, I felt nervous and uncomfortable, but I started to become more confident as soon as I started games. Also, my teammates helped me to settle into the team off the pitch.

MYJ: Unlike the way Daegu FC wrapped up the 2018 season with the FA Cup trophy, the first half of the season was less than satisfactory. What do you think the reason was and how did you cope the crisis?

BHP: I had to admit that there were so many times when Daegu were too easily broken down in defence and let the opponents take the lead with not much effort. Our organisational ability in the back was not cohesive enough. As a result, during the summer break, we focused on team building and strengthening of the back line with intensive drills. Also, a tactical change from a back four to a back three was also one of the key aspects of us bouncing back. Lastly, we tried hard to follow the instructions of the coaching staff whilst out on the pitch.

Interview: Daegu FC Defender Park Byung-hyun
Park Byung-hyun (L) in action against Incheon United in 2018
MYJ: This year, in addition to K League and FA Cup, Daegu FC also will compete in Asian Champions League where you will encounter big name players. How would you feel playing with them and what’s your plan?

BHP: We are obviously contenders to them, but if we come to the game, overwhelmed by their names and popularity beforehand, it is like we have lost to them before the game kicks off. I think the most important thing to approach ACL games is to stick to the way Daegu have been playing as one team with plenty of endeavour and effort on the pitch.

MYJ: Finally, what’s your goal in this season?

BHP: In 2018, Daegu could have finished the season off in Championship Round if we played better before the World Cup break. So, this season, we need to constantly be consistent to be able to get into top six. In Asian Champions League, I promise to produce better performances that match the fans' expectations with great pride on behalf of Daegu and Korea.

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