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"Nothing has been decided about my future yet" - FC Seoul's Hwang Ui-jo

Hwang Ui-jo says that he believes, one day, he will return to K League but admits that nothing has been decided on his immediate future. The striker's loan deal from English Premier League side Nottingham Forest ends on June 31st, leaving the 30-year-old with just one match left in an FC Seoul shirt. K League United spoke to the Korean international following FC Seoul's 2023 Hana 1Q K League 1 Round 18 draw at home to Pohang Steelers.

FC Seoul striker Hwang Ui-jo cut a frustrated figure in the mixed zone following the 1-1 draw with Pohang Steelers. His short answers were perhaps a sign of patience that had been worn thin with the capital club failing to put the game to bed and conceding a late, late equaliser.

Hwang was back in the box defending the corner that Seoul conceded from and had a front-row view as Ha Chang-rae's header nestled in the bottom corner.

The elated celebrations following a second screamer in as many matches had dissipated and, after initially falling to his knees following the final whistle, the inquest began. Hwang could be seen remonstrating with rookie striker-turned-midfielder Kim Sin-jin and Brazilian winger Willyan.

The expression on his face was that of disbelief. As too An Ik-soo and the FC Seoul fans. 

In the TV interview that he did immediately after, Hwang, with more of a brave face on than was seen in the mixed zone, pinned the late equaliser down to a "lapse in concentration" and that because they were able to take a point and didn't lose the match, it was something to be "satisfied" with.

Speaking to K League United afterwards, though, he lamented not being able to win a game that was there for the taking: 

"First of all, it was a shame I think because it was a game that we could have won and so it was a game that was a real pity."

[READ: FC Seoul fail to close up shop and ship late equaliser to Pohang]

With four goals and two assists to his name, Hwang has contributed during his time at FC Seoul. It's also been clear that he has enjoyed his football again, something that he admits has been important:

"Yeah, of course, it's been important. I think as a football person, enjoying football is important. Trying to win and trying to enjoy. Just coming back to Korea and being able to go home (has been the highlight). That's what has been the best part, I think."

FNR


With just one game left before his loan deal expires, Hwang said that his future remains up in the air:

"As of now, nothing has been decided at all. I'll speak more with my agent then I Think I'll be able to decide."

After finding life a bit difficult in Greece with Olympiacos where he played 11 matches in all competitions and provided one assist, it would be easy to feel the pressure to score goals and show K League fans that he is the real deal still. But, Hwang says that pressure hasn't come into it:

"I don't think there has been (any pressure to score goals), I've been concentrating more on the team, to win for the team. Being able to score in a win would have been good but [we didn't] so it was a shame."

Heading into the match with Pohang, Hwang ranked third in K League 1 for shots on target. Most who have watched Hwang and FC Seoul this season will probably admit that he has been a bit unlucky and that goalkeepers have pulled off some unbelievable saves against him. Pohang's Hwang In-jae, for instance, in the first half, denied him from close range. Hwang seemed to agree and said that defenders have made things difficult for him:

"First of all, well, defenders too have made it that there has been very little space. I've been trying to shoot a lot if there's the chance to do so. There were some shots that didn't go in but thankfully there have been some that did."

His parent club Nottingham Forest, he says, have been in contact with him and that a decision will be made in due course:

"We've talked a lot about pre-season and they know about my schedule and then after that, I will talk to the director and then I think a decision will be made."

Hwang Ui-jo's final act as an FC Seoul player will be to fire the capital club to a second win over Suwon Bluewings this season.

"To be honest, if we had been able to win here at home today then that would have been better but, of course, the players know how important the Super Match is and we'll do all we can to make sure we win the game."

When asked if this is goodbye to K League or just a case of 'see you later', Hwang said he believes he will be back one day.

"I really don't know. Of course, K League and Korea are things I have a connection with and I think I will be able to come back one day."

Listen to what Hwang Ui-jo had to say on KLU Patreon here.

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