Manchester United’s Ji-Sung Park says Korea Republic coach Dick Advocaat is more aggressive than former boss Guus Hiddink and believes the current South Korean squad has passion it previously lacked.
“Both are stubborn and have strong personalities. While Hiddink cared more for stability and defence, Advocaat likes to focus more on offence and is more aggressive.”
Hiddink, now with Australia, steered the South Koreans to the FIFA World Cup semi-finals in 2002 and while Park admits the team going to Germany this year lack experience, he says they compensate for it with their passion and work rate.
“The national team is younger than in 2002. As a result, we are lacking in experience. But having more young players could also energise us. Korean grass is rather dry and stiff, while European grass is softer and wetter. It is important that we adapt to more slippery conditions.”
After three years in Europe, first with PSV Eindhoven and now United, Park warned his national team-mates about the different conditions they would face there when the FIFA World Cup gets under way in June.
The grass is certainly getting greener in Manchester for Park, who recently scored his first Premier League goal and has been praised by strike partner Ruud van Nistelrooy.
“Park is the best,” said Van Nistelrooy. “He plays in nearly every game, and he is second only to Wayne Rooney in the number of assists he makes. His game has matured impressively.”