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Interview: 'We still have a chance', Connor Chapman


Daejeon Hana Citizen sealed fourth place and a playoff berth by the skin of their teeth, despite the 1-0 loss to Gyeongnam FC on Saturday. The Purples face a second trip to Changwon in the space of just a few days but with it all to play for. Speaking to the K League United Podcast, midfielder Connor Chapman believes Citizen still have a chance of winning promotion.

Finishing in fourth place and qualifying for the playoffs on goals scored will not have been what was envisioned at the start of the campaign. Something which Chapman himself admits:

"The season probably hasn't gone exactly to plan, the way everyone would have liked. We've changed coaches, we have had a lot of injuries to key positions and to players with experience. The good thing now is everyone is pretty much fit, we've got experience there which for games like this is very important.

Daejeon could have fielded a pretty strong XI with players who have all spent periods of time on the treatment table. Without injuries to key players, and should Daejeon fail to win promotion, the 2020 campaign will perhaps be looked back upon with a sense of "what if?"

Chapman said: "Looking at the team itself, obviously you can see that we'd be able to get better results than what we did in certain matches. Sometimes that happens, some teams are more lucky than other teams and they don't have injuries or some things in the game go for them. 

"But, at the end of the day, we are where we are because of what we've done. We've still got a chance of promotion. Suwon are not guaranteed promotion but if we can get through to Suwon I think we've got a good chance of getting promotion."

Eulji Lewis

With Andre Luis missing through suspension for Wednesday's clash with Gyeongnam, caretaker manager Cho Min-gook is forced into one or two changes. One option is for Edinho to come into the centre from the wing and Park Yong-ji come into the side. Edinho, prior to the defeat to Gyeongnam, had bagged braces against both Jeonnam and Anyang and is, like Daejeon were before the loss in Changwon, finding form at the right time.

[READ: Gyeongnam FC vs Daejeon Hana Citizen Playoff Preview]

"We played trial games but it's a bit different when you're playing in front of fans, playing for points in big games," says Chapman. "The connection is there, the connection has been there in training. I think Edinho is a big addition to our team. 

"He came half way through the season but now he's adjusting, he scored four goals in two games [pre-Gyeongnam], and we needed a player that can play in between the lines - he's quick, he can dribble so hopefully he can keep going with his form and take it into the finals."

Daejeon's number six featured in the A-League finals whilst in the sky blue of Melbourne City and so has experience of playing in these type of matches:

"I think everyone is a bit more conservative. I think in the second half it opens up because a team needs to win and that's just how the games are because one mistake and you could be over. But, I think if you're defensively strong, which we've been focusing on over the last few weeks, then you have got a better chance because we've got players up front who can punish teams.

#KLUPod: Friendlies, ACL Round-Up, and K2 Playoff Preview with Chapman



A full, 'director's cut' version of the interview with Connor Chapman is available now for K3 Champion-tier K League United Patreons and above. 

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