FC Seoul coach Choi Yong-soo has put the heat on his players ahead of tonight’s clash with Kashima Antlers, saying he expects a better performance than last week.
The South Koreans travelled to Chinese giants Guangzhou Evergrande last week in a rematch of the 2013 AFC Champions League final and came away empty handed after a 1-0 loss.
“The players know what they did wrong in the last match, so I’m expecting a better performance,” the 2013 AFC Coach of the Year said. “I think both teams are desperate for victory, so it should be a very exciting game. We have prepared well to get the three points we need.”
FC Seoul have come close in the last two years to lifting the silverware, finishing runners-up to Guangzhou Evergrande in 2013 before being eliminated in the semi final by eventual champions Western Sydney Wanderers last year.
As luck would have it, both those teams are in FC Seoul’s group this year, arguably the toughest group in the entire tournament.
“It’s true our group is the most difficult one,” declared Choi.
“But my biggest concern is last season we didn’t perform how we wanted, we didn’t show 100%.
“Even though we lost many players, I want the players to feel part of the team by getting to the next round. I think it’s important for us to concentrate on one game at a time, rather than setting out an objective like winning the trophy.
“At the end of the day I want us to be satisfied by our performances. I think many people think we are not one of the candidates to win the tournament, but that is normal and that kind of thing will pull our team together.”
Their opponents tonight, Kashima Antlers, are also desperate to atone for a bad result last week, losing 3-1 at home to Western Sydney. Their coach, Toninho Cerezo, has declared they “have to win” against FC Seoul.