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Interview: 'We want to keep fighting', says Osmar

FC Seoul's 3-1 Gyeongin Derby win over Incheon United maintained their five point gap over Gangwon in fourth, keeping Choi Yongsoo's side in pole position for that much coveted AFC Champions League (ACL) place. But, speaking to K League United after the game, fan favourite Osmar Ibáñez Barba says that this race for ACL is far from over just yet.


At the weekend FC Seoul picked up their second Gyeongin Derby win over the season, but first at home since 2017. Prior to the international break, Choi Yongsoo's side suffered a disappointing 2-0 loss to Jeonbuk, their  and so were left to stew for a fortnight before being able to get back to winning ways.

Speaking exclusively to K League United following the win over Incheon, Osmar said:

"We came from four games without a victory and then this [international] break we trained really hard to get this victory, finally. We want to keep fighting for the ACL spots, we needed these points today."

Seoul went a goal down in the 25th minute when Stefan Mugoša played in Kim Honam to slot the ball past Seoul custodian Yoo Sanghoon, capitalising on an error from Kim Wonsik, to give the Durumi the lead against the run of play.

"In the first half we kind of controlled the game but we didn't finish it, we didn't cross too many times, we didn't shoot many times. But, we had the ball under control, we made one mistake and they scored the goal.

"We had to be careful, they didn't just come to defend, they are ready to attack as well. And, second half as well, coach just told us that we have 45 minutes more, keep calm, don't rush it, and play a bit more aggressive - don't just pass back, do something on the sides - as it was for the first goal. I think it was totally different [first half and second half], even though we could control the game as well, but it was a different image from us [in the second half]."

Goals from the returning Ju Sejong, a penalty by Park Chuyong, and Jung Wonjin were on target in the second half to earn the points; the former marking his return to Sangam in style. With the addition of Ju Sejong and Lee Myungjoo, who also made his first FC Seoul appearance since returning from military service partnered Ikromjon Alibaev in the centre of midfield, allowing to Osmar slot back into the back three and shore up the defence.

Ju Sejong's goal against Incheon United was his first for FC Seoul since 2016.

What the pair brought to the team on Sunday was there for all to see, something which Osmar himself also appreciated.

"They are experienced players, not only good ones, not only technical they have the experience as well. They give us ball control and they give us this kind of aggression, not from kicking, but aggressive in looking for the space and playing forwards rather than just pass the ball back easy. They hold it, they dribble, they create situations where we can be more dangerous.

"I think before, I don't know why, [but] we were not comfortable enough, we lay down the ball too easy so it was back again. So they are two players who like to play forwards and this is good because we can find Aleks [Aleksandar Pešić], we can find [Park] Chuyoung and then [Ko] Kwangmin and [Go] Yohan can be ready when the other team squeeze inside. They give us one step more, they give us more quality."

To hear what Osmar had to say about the battle for fourth place with Gangwon FC, as well as the trip to Pohang this weekend, the full audio version of this interview will be available for Patreon subscribers.


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