"We're a good team, we work together, we are like family": Daejeon Hana Citizen's Leandro
Leandro's clever pass through to Tiago Orobó set the debutant to open the scoring just 11 minutes into Daejeon's return to the top flight.
The former Seoul E-Land man then got himself on the scoresheet, cutting in and driving the ball into the bottom corner just 12 minutes later.
The 28-year-old's work was done after 65 minutes with Daejeon boss Lee Min-sung replacing the Brazilian with Kim In-gyun with fitness a concern.
Speaking in the mixed zone afterward, Leandro admitted that he had picked up a knock in pre-season.
Q: Leandro, I thought you were injured then I see your Instagram story and there's a picture of the famous number 70 and you're okay. How is your current fitness, because you didn't play the full game?
A: "Yeah, I was injured on pre-season. It's a little bit hamstring [problem] but it's not serious, big serious. We do some treatment in the weekend and then I come back better. The doctors do everything with me. We walk almost two periods per day and now a little bit better for my condition. Not very good, like a hundred percent, but to help the team, you know, you must do everything [with] what we have. We have so many games, for us every game is important."
Q: You scored today as well. You looked very, very happy with that. It was the perfect start.
A: Yeah, because it's my first goal in K League 1. You know, every player wants to score in this league, it's so hard. Every game is hard. Gangwon is the first team that I play against them (in K League 1), it's important for top for me to start with the right [way]."
Q: Last season you said you wanted 15 goals and assists combined. Now we're in K League 1, have you got a target this year or are you gonna maybe have it as a secret?
A: "It's better to be secret."
Q: You know what happened against Gangwon two years ago. You weren't here then but did the coach talk about revenge at all in the build-up to this game?
A: No, no. [It's] a different team now, two years ago it's another team, you know, it's K2, it's playoff - it's different. It's not revenge because we have like almost four games against them. We shoot to play our game, we shoot to win every game. We shoot to improve, we can stay here (K League 1) for a long time. We are a good team, we work together, we are like family here. So it's not revenge, we don't look for this, we want to only follow our strategy to play, to enjoy K League 1."
Q: Last season you told me that pre-season wasn't good, things happened (COVID-19 outbreak), but this year, the way you played today, especially in the first half, already there's a synergy and chemistry.
A "Yeah, because it is a different team also, you know, last year is different, every season is different. You know, we have now another player, we have so many players, we can play a different style. So this is the point, you know, our players give confidence to all like last year. We worked for this, we do our job today, what we work in the pre-season."
Q: How important is it to win that first game of the season?
A: To give the confidence for the team, this is the most important. You know, we are in the first league for the first time. We shoot to take the points, you know, cause after maybe 20 rounds you see, we look for behind we you have points you can stay, maybe relax. So every point is important for us, starting good is the best.
Q: Daejeon have quite a tough first five games. Today was Gangwon, next is Incheon, Pohang, Suwon Bluewings, then FC Seoul. Have you looked at the schedule or is it just game-by-game?
A: No, no. Game by game.We [go] game by game. We shoot to show what we can do. We have a good performance against Gangwon today, but we have to look for the next game. This game is finished. We, today, we need to rest, to look for Incheon. They lost the first game so now it's more hard for us because they want to win. We also want to win because you want to make six points in the league. It's better to go game to game because every opponent is different."
Listen to the full interview as well as the post-match comments of Tiago Orobó and Anton Kryvotsyuk on K League United Patreon now.