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"We should have really took all three points" - Pohang Steelers' Alex Grant


In the end, it took a late Ha Chang-rae equaliser to cancel out Hwang Ui-jo's opener and see Pohang Steelers leave Seoul with a point in hand. Speaking after the game, K League United's Matthew Binns caught up with Pohang defender Alex Grant to get his thoughts on the match.


Matthew Binns: A bit of a dramatic end to the match, but how did you rate it as an overall spectacle? 

Alex Grant: For us, it was obviously a positive result in the end. After going behind one-nil in the first half, you know, you can't take anything away from the strike the lad made. It was a good goal on their, their end but we were a bit disappointed because we didn't really feel like they created much in the game. We didn't really feel threatened that much. I said to [Hwang] In-jae after the game, he's had a day off! He's having an ice bath after the game! He's had a day off! So, you know, a bit disappointed not to come away with all three points but, overall, I think away from home, you're happy to come away a point. 


MB: As you said, they, they only really had that one chance and they scored it. You've got yourself on the chance list, let's say. Yeah. You got a good header down in 70th minute.We looked at the stats before the game. As a defender in this league, you've got the highest stats of shots on target at the moment. Is that something you are looking to improve? 

AG: Well, obviously I wanted to go in the back of the net! I mean, that'd be a bonus, won't it? But, I guess, as long as we're getting chances, I always feel that when we've got set pieces, I'm always a threat. I'm always up there and I can get my head on the end of a decent ball. So, I'm looking at [Baek] Sung-dong now [laughs], he's gotta put in a decent ball if I want to get on the end of one! So yeah, it works both ways, but yeah, I mean that's a good stat to know I guess. That's all football now, stats.

MB: You've said about set pieces, you're up for a few corners. Well, I noticed a bit of jostling. Seoul were marking a little bit tightly, let's say. It must be nice to be considered such a threat! Do you think the referee probably should have pulled that back?

AG So, to be honest with you, I mean, I know the ref's got a lot on his plate and every week it happens. And I think that's one thing now, the fact that I am a bit of a threat in the game. Set pieces, I do get targeted a little and... look, it's hard with the language and talking. A lot of the referees don't speak great English so trying to get my viewpoint across is always hard. I'm always trying to communicate with the captains and tell 'em that. Cause a lot of the time the defenders don't even look at the ball and they're too worried about me and wrestling me and if you saw today, my shirt got ripped. It's not a good look really. But I mean the ref's letting it go. They spoke to us before the season that they were gonna let a lot more go. I mean, look, if I fall to the ground and throw my hands up in the air, are they gonna give a penalty? Probably not. So, I mean, it's all part and parcel of the game but I guess I would like a bit more protection from the referees.

MB: Well, in the end, you getting a bit manhandled actually created the space for the goal. So in a weird way, kind of an assist.

AG: It worked today! It did work today. Me and [Ha] Chang-rae, we spoke after the game. I mean yeah, I was pretty much bear-hugged by two of their players and it worked out well in the end 'cause Chang-rae got free and, obviously, go on the end of one. 

MB: It's actually six games now without a win on the road in the league anyway. For Pohang, it must feel a bit like a win today though, with the last-minute goal?

AG: Definitely. Like I said earlier, coming back into the game so late, it's always good. We should have really took all three points, which is how we felt, but I knew that coming into the game. I'm sure the other players did as well, and I think it's something we definitely have to improve on. I think if we want to try and pull Ulsan back we've gotta improve away from home and start picking up more results.

MB: You've got a bit of an international break now. Is that a break you're looking forward to or do you prefer as a club just to get straight back out there? 

AG: It'd be nice to. It is nice to have a break, but like you said, sometimes when you've got momentum and things going for you, it can stem the flow a little bit, so hopefully that doesn't happen to us. We'll take confidence from this and, to be fair, all year round, it's been a good atmosphere around the team and I think we're surprised a few before the start of the season. 

We lost a few players and big players, and people probably had us predicted down near the bottom or, you know, fighting mid-table, but we're, we're up there again. I think it's just credit to the boys and we've got a lot of hard workers in the team. No real massive standout players. Just everyone pulls together and works hard. 

You can listen to all KLU Mixed Zone interviews unedited right after the match over on Patreon.com/KLeagueUnited before they appear on the podcast later in the week.Subscribe for as low as $3 per month

FNR 

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