South Korea football coach Shin Tae-yong said Monday he's willing to accept Guus Hiddink's offer to help the men's national team if the Dutchman is ready to give "selfless" service.Shin, who was hired in July after Uli Stielike's exit and managed South Korea to their ninth consecutive World Cup appearance, said he can do so for the sake of the country's football. "If Hiddink is willing to help South Korea without any personal greed, I want to accept his offer," Shin said during a press conference announcing his 23-man squad for the friendly matches in October. "If he gives help, I want to join him and develop South Korean football."The South Korean football community has been abuzz after local media, citing Roh Je-ho, secretary-general of the nonprofit Guus Hiddink Foundation in Seoul, reported that Hiddink was eyeing the national coaching job. The report came only hours after South Korea clinched a World Cup finals spot with Shin at the helm in Uzbekistan on Sept. 5.Hiddink, who led South Korea to the 2002 FIFA World Cup semifinals, then told reporters in Amsterdam on Sept. 14 that he is willing to help the national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup if the Korea Football Association wants him. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager said he was thinking more of an advisory role rather than a coaching position, but didn't completely rule out the possibility of his returning to his old job from 2002.While calls from South Koreans to bring Hiddink back as head coach are increasing -- with some even posting their requests on the official website of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae -- the KFA has said it will not replace Shin with Hiddink. But the KFA has also said it is ready to listen to advice from Hiddink when the team needs help.
Shin, who has been criticized for the national team's scoreless performances in last two World Cup qualifiers, said he does feel some stress from the current situation involving Hiddink, but will stick to his road map for the 2018 World Cup.The KFA on Tuesday is expected to discuss Hiddink's possible role for the national team at its technical committee meeting. Shin said before there were talks of Hiddink, he and the technical committee had discussed hiring an experienced assistant coach."I've talked with the KFA technical committee chief Kim Ho-gon about having an experienced tactician on our coaching staff under the condition of us qualifying for the World Cup," he said. "We were searching for a person who can really help our coaching staff."Shin said he will first meet and ask Hiddink's advice when the national team plays a friendly match against Russia on Oct. 7.Hiddink, who coached Russia from 2006 to 2010, reportedly played a crucial role in helping South Korea set up the friendly versus the 2018 World Cup hosts."I can understand that fans have nostalgia for Hiddink because what happened in 2002 was really a miracle," he said. "I know if we don't perform well in friendly matches, there's going to be a huge backlash, but a coach doesn't need to be afraid of that and change his philosophy. If we make use of Hiddink's advice on the Russian national team and collect a good result, that will set a good example."After playing against Russia, South Korea are trying to set up another friendly with African side Morocco. The Taeguk Warriors were originally scheduled to take on Tunisia on Oct. 10, but that friendly was canceled due to the opponents' "international reasons," according to the KFA.Shin said there can be ups and downs in South Korea's World Cup preparations, but he hopes local fans will give their full support to the national team."I know I've been criticized heavily by fans even though the national team earned a World Cup spot," he said. "What's really important is our performance at the 2018 World Cup. During our process, fans could feel disappointed, but I want them to support us. From October, showing a good result is important, but it's also important to display our best efforts."
|South Korea football coach Shin Tae-yong speaks at a press conference at the Korea Football Association headquarter building in Seoul on Sept. 25, 2017. (Yonhap)|