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"We are feeling really, really confident": Bucheon FC 1995's Samuel Nnamani

Bucheon FC 1995 forward Samuel Nnamani says he and his team are confident heading into this Wednesday's playoff match with Gyeongnam FC. The Reds only need a draw to advance but Nnamani says Bucheon are only thinking about getting the win.

A fourth-place finish in K League 2 this season earned Bucheon FC 1995 home advantage in the first playoff match. They face Gyeongnam on Wednesday night with the victor advancing to face FC Anyang at the weekend. 

Ahead of Wednesday's first clash, K League United caught up with Bucheon's Samuel Nnamani to get his thoughts.

Paul Neat: It's been a very eventful season and it's already over. I'm not sure about you, but can you believe it? 

Samuel Nnamani: It's gone very quickly. It especially was very fast because of, I guess, the World Cup.

PN: For sure. How do you think the season went overall for you and for the team?

SN: The team, I'm not going to lie, it is a bit surprising because I was not expecting that much. That we'd go this far but, with time, we started doing good. It was really good but, as for me, I was not really satisfied because I was struggling with this injury. A couple of times, I was injured and I got Corona, and then came back. And the coach played me in the second half for some tactic reason, So far, I'm not gonna lie, it's not bad for the team. Because last season, they were last in the table, and then suddenly, they're here playing the playoffs. 


PN: Well, you mentioned the manager playing you in the second half. I find it very interesting because at the start of the season I think he said that you were the player that he really wanted to sign, but then, you've only started 10 of your 27 appearances. Has that been frustrating for you? 

SN: In the beginning, a couple of times he'd put me in and the game went well. We might be losing like, one zero down, I come in and things change. He just automatically thinks that "oh, I think a Nnamani is best to play in the second half, because of the ability, the strength and all this". So he spoke to me about this, but I still feel that I deserve to like get some more minutes because most of the time I come in is like maybe in the 70th minutes. You know there is no time to prove a lot of things. So, this is it. I don't know but this is the way he talks about me. So for me, I don't know what to say. I felt that okay, he's the boss. He knows better.

PN: Fair enough. The team found it a little bit difficult to find form towards the end of the season. What do you think was the reason for that? Was it the busy schedule this year? Is everyone just a bit tired?

SN: Yeah, you know, we had a lot of injured players like [Oh] Jae-hyeok, [Park] Chang-jun and this other guy was named [Han] Ji-ho. And these are quite important players for the team. They were injured, I was injured too. There's a lot of kind of new faces too in the team and it's not all about that, but it's a mix, you know, like sometimes the emotion within the team, like the feelings. Once the confidence is down, it takes time to come back. So, stuff like this, it happens so it's a mix of feelings.

PN: Well, you were back in the starting lineup against your old team on Saturday, that must have felt nice?

SN: Yeah, I needed that. You know, like, because I wish to play against the [Jeonnam] Dragons. I feel like the hunger to play against them, I don't know why it's just so different. Once I play against them, the feelings are different from other teams. I don't know but it's just like that. And I was it was nice to see the old guys, stuff like this. Unfortunately, the most of them were sad because of their results.

PN: But the team managed to get a last-minute equaliser. It's not a win, but that might feel like a win heading into Wednesday's game.

SN: Yeah, of course, because we don't want to lose, you know, we don't want to lose going into the playoffs because that's not a good energy. So we wanted to take at least a draw and with our second team, I'm not gonna lie, they did really good because these guys have not been playing games for like, months, you know? So the confidence they play and they put out on the pitch was amazing. Kudos to them, but the Dragon team, they were not so bad but recently, they won two games directly so I felt that [these other players] did it for the goalkeeper (Kim Ho-jun) that is going into retirement. We had that in mind, so that's why we could at least get a draw. We are very satisfied with that.

PN: Yeah, well, you got a big game on Wednesday. How are you and the team feeling? Are you feeling confident? Are you feeling ready?

SN: Yeah, yeah, we are feeling really, really confident because if we draw, we go to the next stage, but we are going in it to win. We want to win. We want to win and hopefully, we could do something, get something positive out of this game, because we have played four times against them already. We won three times and we lost one so I think we will come out the same in the same way and with even more intensity.

PN: What do you think about that rule that you don't need to win as the home team - a draw is enough. Last year for the Dragons you experienced it from the other way around when you played against Daejeon.

SN: For me, I think it's fair because the guys who is on top of you have to have some advantage, because that's why they are there. You know, they work hard to be in fourth place so I don't think it should be like. I think the draw it should be there. That's what I think.

PN: Am I right in thinking that you've played in the playoffs before in Sweden?

SN: Yeah, I played in playoffs in 2018 and against a First Division team, and we won! That one, we lost the home game but we won the away game with a goal aggregate.

PN: And how did the game feel? Did it feel different to a normal league game?

SN: Yes. You know, it's like, for me, I think playoffs feel like a cup game. It's like a final, you have to get the result for you to succeed. You know, it's not like the league. If you lose this game you have okay, we go again, you know, like, this is the last game, if you lose it, you're gone. It's finished. So I just think the mentality and the idea of the playoffs is just different from the league. You have to get the result right away, you know?

PN: So you mentioned that you might have a little injury. How likely is it that your play on Wednesday night?

SN: I don't know. I don't know if I'm going to play. But I will see with the coach and how I feel because it's not [just] about this game it's about the whole games, because if we can get the win this one, then we have to play Anyang. So I am more thinking of the Anyang game than this game because that is more even difficult because you're playing in the away game. So if I'm injured, if I feel any pain or anybody who is going through anything, you say [to the coaches] because we don't want to create any problems in the future.

PN: Yeah, for sure. Final question, what message do you have for the Bucheon fans?

SN: These guys are really amazing because there's a lot of passion in Bucheon. And I just really hope they come out on Wednesday night and give us their support. And hopefully, we'll give them what they wish for and what they want us to do. And then hopefully we get our goals. And I just want to thank them for everything they have been doing, even in the rain they are out there supporting us - it is not easy. It's amazing, you know, just want to thank them for being there so far for us since the beginning of the season. 

PN: All right. Well, Samuel, thank you so much for your time. Good luck, and I hope you recover in time.

SN: Yeah. Thank you very much.

Read Further

'Three goals against Bucheon this season motivates me to score more': Gyeongnam FC's Tiago Orobó

K League 2 Playoffs: Bucheon FC 1995 and Gyeongnam FC seek winning change: here

Bucheon FC 1995 vs Gyeongnam FC Official Preview here

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