Pohang Coach Hwang Sun-hong knows his team will need to be at its best after the way Adelaide United has started the competition.
Pohang Steelers Coach Hwang Sun-hong has underlined the importance of Tuesday night-s clash against the Reds in the context of the K-League club-s AFC Champions League aspirations.
The former Pohang striker, who is into his second season in charge, spoke openly and candidly at the official pre-match media conference about how crucial it will be for the Steelers to secure three points at home over the Reds.
But if Pohang are to achieve it, Sun-hong knows his team will need to be at its best as he has the utmost respect for Adelaide United and the way they have started the competition.
Pohang sits three points adrift of a Reds side that has conceded just one goal in their first two games, the Steelers boss doing his homework on how tough a nut the Reds have been to crack in their two wins so far.
“For us to progress, this match must be a victory, but Adelaide is a very strong team and we will need to be focused tomorrow,” Sun-hong said.
“Adelaide is very strong defensively and also very strong on the counter attack and we need to think about ways to beat their defence.”
“Australian teams have a distinctive style, and looking at Adelaide-s last two matches, they have a very good balance in the team and we will need to adjust to use our strengths effectively.”
When once Adelaide United was like a new kid on the block, the Reds now have clubs of the ilk of Pohang sitting up taking notice and knowing they are going to be in for a seriously tough contest.
This level of respect and the fact that Pohang is determined not to drop a second ACL home game in a row, is highlighted by Sun-hong declaring that he is not willing to rest any of his best players. This includes deciding whether he brings back Pohang-s Ghanaian goal scorer Derek Asamoah, who has missed the last three matches with injury.
When asked on if Asamoah would line up against the Reds, Sun-hong was keeping his cards close to his chest.
“I cannot answer that at the moment but this is a must win match so we will field our strongest team,” he said.
This in itself says a lot about the regard the Reds are now being held in among clubs in Asia-s prestigious club competition.