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Interview: Lee Soon-min responds to Gwangju manager questioning players' ambition


Now a full Korean international, Gwangju FC midfielder Lee Soon-min says that he too felt a lack of ambition among the players in the 1-1 draw with Daegu FC. His manager Lee Jung-hyo, in another box office press conference, questioned whether his players had the same level of hunger as he does.

Looking to bounce back from the 2-0 loss to Incheon in Round 35, Gwangju could only manage a draw away to Daegu in the last round. Georgian striker Beka Mikeltadze broke the deadlock on 19 minutes only for Kim Kang-san to level just shy of the interval.

With neither team able to find a breakthrough in the second half the spoils were shared. K League United's Muyeol Jung spoke to Gwangju FC star Lee Soon-min the mixed zone afterwards to hear his thoughts on the game and the accusations of a lack of ambition placed on the team by his manager.

First of all, what are your thoughts on today's 1-1 draw with Daegu FC?

Firstly, there are a lot of difficult elements to Daegu FC away; the atmosphere is good and they are a well-organised and strong team and so we knew it was going to be a difficult battle. We didn't get the result we wanted and so from that aspect, the game was a bit of a pity. There's no one to blame for that but when these shortcomings come out, I think we need to prepare well and respond so that we can grow further.

It was a bit of a shock for you to lose 2-0 to Incheon last time out, I was wondering how the squad reacted to that.

In all honesty, it was a real pity. We were at home, lots of fans came to watch and anyone could see that we'd lost a bit of power. It was a game that, if you're talking about chances of winning, then it was a game that there was a high chance that we could have won but we didn't get the result and so this shows that we still have a little bit more to do as a team. I felt that a lot in that game and consistency is something that we have emphasised as something that we have to show but in that game, we were a bit lacking. I think it's a game we need to think about again, to be honest.

The manager mentioned that he had placed emphasis on finding space during the recent break. How would you assess the team's performance today in that respect?

It's a team that's organised defensively and compact and so we had worked on ways to draw them out and find space but, from a result's perspective, whether it be the chances we tried to make or the process of getting through on goal, I don't think we were as smooth as we should've been. We have those things that we need to work on which we'll take responsibility for, watch the video back and work on the things that are lacking. Also, when we come up against teams like this that are well-organised and defensive, we have to stick to our strategy and if we do that then chances will come. Hopefully, today's game was the bitter pill we have to swallow.

The manager talked about a lack of ambition among the players in his post-match press conference and said he wants the players to show a bit more ambition moving forward...

Yeah, a lot... I felt it a lot as well. A little bit more... if when we're out on the pitch, we can take control a bit and make it more about us, be a bit more bold and challenge the opposition by continuously putting pressure on them. That's what we should be doing. But from that perspective, we were a bit complacent. For me, too, I was lacking, I think. So, we just need to play as a team, show a bit more desire, be aware of the things we have to work on and just keep trying our best.

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