"I want to score and assist more this season": FC Seoul's Ki Sung-yueng
Ki Sung-yueng, no longer captain of FC Seoul but still a key figure in the team, started in central midfield alongside Aleksandar Paločević in a 4-4-2.
With Incheon United skipper Oh Ban-suk pulling one back six minutes from time, Ki's assist for Kim Ju-sung's goal proved to be the match winner.
Ki told K League United afterwards that he is happy with how the team prepared for the game and the defensive organisation.
He also admitted that he wants to score and assist more. Last term, the former Celtic, Sunderland, and Swansea man didn't score at all and managed just two assists.
Q: What were your overall thoughts on the game today?
A: "I think we prepared very well as a team, [and] as an individual. You know, like always, opening game is always difficult and in front of a lot of fans, you know, we are really pleased [with] what we did on the pitch. Of course the things that we have to improve on next game course, always there, but still, you know, we gave our best and then we performed well in the game."
Q: How important is it to get off to a winning start to the season?
A: "I think every game is very important, not just first game, because last year we won the first game and then we didn't win the next six games. So, if you don't get the points, the next game you'll get always a lot of pressure. So, I think we have three points so So next game is better than we draw or we lost here and go to Gwangju for the next game. So, hopefully the players get more confidence and if you win next game, we have six points. So, we have to be ready for next game."
Q: You got an assist today for Kim Ju-sung's goal. Do you set a target for assists before the start of the season?
A: "Yeah, individually I want to do more points, you know, like score more goals and get more assists. Because last season was very unlucky, you know, like I hit the post a lot and the pass I gave didn't, didn't make well. So, hopefully this season, individually I want to have some greed for the team and hopefully I can do something for the team."
Q: It wasn't a cleansheet in the end but the defensive shape was good and you must be happy with how you defended as a team?
A: "Yeah, definitely. I think especially the front players, you know, they work really hard for the team. When we are defending, they work so hard. I know defenders did a good job but I think strikers and wingers, they give a lot of hard work for the team. Defensively, we give the goal away in set pieces, so we have to concentrate next game and make sure we don't concede more goals."
Q: Last season FC Seoul had a lot of the ball, made lots of passes but sometimes the goal just didn't come. Today it was more incisive and direct, would that be fair to say?
A: "Yeah, for sure. That's tactically the little bit change to last season. We have quick players up front and then (Hwang) Ui-jo can hold the ball well. So we have different kind of options in front, so we don't need to keep the ball so much, even though we lost our possession in the game. It doesn't matter as long as we get the points.
Q: "You've got a very big squad here now. Do you feel that it's closer to getting back to Final A and the Champions League?
A: "Well, it's too early, I think. It's too early because we have 37 games left so I don't need to say about this, but just, I want to focus on every single game, you know? If we focus on next game, get the points, and we go and go, then I think we will get the good results, because I don't want to set the target now."
Listen to the full interview on next week's K League United Podcast.