After a thrilling win over rivals Jeonbuk Hyundai, Ulsan Hyundai head coach Hong Myung-bo revealed that his new tactics have paid off.
Ulsan won the Hana One Q K League 2023 Round 27 ‘Hyundai Derby‘ against Jeonbuk Hyundai 1-0 with a goal from Uhm Won-sang on July 19 at Munsu Stadium in Ulsan, South Korea.
It was Ulsan’s first win in a month, following a 24th round victory over Jeju United on July 21. Ulsan maintained its lead at the top of the table (19 wins, 3 draws, 5 losses, 60 points) and widened the gap to Pohang Steelers in second place (12 wins, 10 draws, 4 losses, 46 points) by 14 points.
Jeonbuk, on the other hand, lost both of their away Hyundai derbies this season. Jeonbuk was unable to add any points and dropped to fourth place (12 wins, 5 draws, 10 losses, 41 points).
In his post-match press conference, Hong said, “I’m happy to win a home game in front of a large crowd. I felt sorry for the fans because we didn’t get results in the last few games, but fortunately we won at home against a strong opponent. The players prepared well during the week and got a good result. I think it’s a victory for the players and the fans.”
Ulsan chose to play Rubikson at wingback on the day. “We don’t utilize this tactic much, but when we do, we get good results,” said Hong. In that regard, I thought that Rubikson, who has both offensive and defensive capabilities, was able to do a good job,” said Hong.
“We didn’t have a result after five games, so we were cautious from the start. It’s important to find a rhythm, but it’s also important to bring a little bit of atmosphere, and in the first half, both teams had chances, but we brought the second half with our atmosphere. In the end, we were able to make decisions on the counterattack and I’m happy with the win.”
The goal came after Lee Chung-yong came on as a substitute. Hong said, “When a new player like Lee Chung-yong comes in and scores, it’s just luck, not skill. But at that point, I didn’t know whether to play Lee Kyu-sung or Lee Cheong-yong. Lee Dong-kyung and Kim Min-hyuk had fitness issues. We wanted to be more aggressive, so we added Lee Cheong-yong.”
“Basically, we don’t change tactics just because the previous tactics weren’t good, even though we can change people. You have to have a minimum amount 사설토토 of time to prepare, build consensus, and the players’ ability to execute to make it work. This is a Plan B that we’ve been working on since the last All-Star Game. I was thinking about when to implement it, and today was the right time. The players understood it well enough. We struggled in the beginning, but we executed well until the end.”
The match broke the club’s record for the largest crowd of the season with over 30,000 fans. Hong said of the stadium atmosphere: “It’s the best. It’s the best I’ve ever played for. When you come to the stadium, the Ulsan fans enjoy it, the players enjoy it, and you spend 90 minutes enjoying it. The Ulsan fans are the best supporters in Korea and we enjoy playing soccer together. I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to the Ulsan fans.”