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‘Unusual bitterness’ raises red flags in realistic relegation battle Suwon FC head coach Kim Do-gyun Kim

“He’s a professional athlete, and his demeanor and content were very poor.”
The words were unusually bitter. Suwon FC head coach Kim Do-gyun sent a ‘warning’ to his players. Suwon FC lost 0-2 against Gwangju FC in the 15th round of the Hana OneQ K League 1 2023 at Suwon Sports Complex on the 28th. It was their fourth straight defeat. With their eighth loss of the season (4W, 3D, and 15 points), Suwon FC dropped to ninth place. With the same number of points as 10th-placed Incheon United, they have fallen into the relegation zone.

Their recent form has been dire. In four games, they’ve scored just two goals and conceded 12. That’s the fewest goals scored and the most goals conceded in the same period, except for Gangwon. Of course, things haven’t been going well lately. The team has been riddled with injuries and hasn’t been at full strength. Nevertheless, it’s disappointing to see that Suwon FC hasn’t shown their usual attacking colors. Suwon used to be a late-game team, with 12 of their 16 goals this season coming in the second half, but lately they’ve been more lethargic in the second half. On Nov. 14 against Jeju United, the team conceded four second-half goals in a 0-5 defeat at home. Coach Kim Do-gyun personally took the fans aside to apologize.

The team tried to bounce back, but things only got worse. Against Gwangju, the team’s strategy was to hold on for the first half and then push forward in the second half, but they collapsed in the second half. It was a game where the will of the players was not evident. After the game, Coach Kim had a message for the players. “Lee Yong (37) and Park Joo-ho (36), the two oldest players on the team, play the most,” Kim said, “We may concede goals during the game, but our reaction after conceding is different from the old Suwon FC. We don’t chase and we don’t have the strength to push forward,” he said. “It’s all the coach’s responsibility, but we need to reflect on why we play like this and why we can only play like this,” he said.

This season, the K League 1 has seen an epic battle for the top 스포츠토토 spot. With Suwon Samsung and Gangwon FC falling early on, the relegation battle hasn’t yet ignited, but both teams are capable of bouncing back at any moment. You never know what could happen if you let your guard down. This season, the K League 1 will be relegated to a ‘1+2’ system, with a maximum of three teams. Suwon FC used the timing of Lee Young-jae’s return from retirement as a decisive factor. The plan was to rack up points with the powerful backline of Lee Young-jae and Yoon Beom-garam. However, after a slump in May, the mood has changed. If they collapse here, they may not be able to get a boost even after Lee Young-jae returns. That’s why Kim publicly issued a “yellow card” to his players.

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