“If you try to be too good because you are greedy, you will get tired.”
The voice of Hong Myung-bo, coach of Ulsan Hyundai, over the receiver was calm.
Coach Hong, who had a difficult June with bad news pouring down on the team all at once, until the team’s players’ ‘racist SNS’ incident, which was recently hit by public opinion, was eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Korea Football Association (FA) Cup. It was tight.
Coach Hong said in a phone call with Yonhap News on the 4th, “I had a difficult June. In July, the game schedule is also tight, so we have to fight harder.” said.
In June, Ulsan was literally ‘home and abroad’.
When it was revealed that the members of the team were sharing stories of racism through social media, the atmosphere in the team hit bottom due to strong criticism from fans.
Voices pointing out the wrong behavior of the players continued day after day, and the morale of the squad was also weakened, and in the meantime, in the FA Cup quarterfinals, they gave Jeju United a ticket to the semifinals after a penalty shootout, achieving a ‘double (regular league + cup championship championship)’ chance was blown away.
Ulsan, who had a difficult June, won a difficult 1-0 victory in the first game of July, Gwangju FC and Hana 1 Q K League 1 2023 Round 20, played on the 2nd, and stepped on the ‘50 points’ for the first time this season.메이저토토사이트
In this season’s K-League 1, Ulsan (50 points, 16 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses) maintains an ‘absolute first-round system’. The gap with Pohang Steelers (37 points) in second place is 13 points.
But reassurance is forbidden. Coach Hong, who spent ‘June of Trouble’ due to a situation outside of football, is struggling to keep instilling tension in the players.
K-League 1 cannot be played in the final week due to the match between Atletico Madrid (Spain) and Team K-League on the 27th, so a midweek game schedule was created on the 11th and 12th.
For this reason, K-League 1 teams have to go on a forced march by playing four games during the first to third weeks of July.
Ulsan will play round 21 away from 2nd place Pohang on the 8th, and round 22 at home against 9th place Incheon United on the 12th. On the 15th, the ‘lowest’ Suwon Samsung will be away for the 23rd round, and on the 21st, the 4th ranked Jeju will play the 24th round home game.
After winning 4 consecutive wins from rounds 17 to 20, Ulsan’s goal for July is to achieve 7 consecutive wins.
Ulsan won 6 consecutive wins (rounds 1 to 6 and 9 to 14) on two occasions this season, but failed to win 7 times in a row.
In the midst of this, it is expected that it will not be an easy match as the opponent of the season’s 3rd 5-game winning streak is Pohang, a ‘difficult enemy’. Ulsan drew 2-2 with Pohang in the 8th round, the first match of the season.
Ulsan can get closer to achieving the first 7 consecutive wins of the season if they overcome the ‘East Coast Derby’ with Pohang.
Ulsan’s most important task this season is to reach the ’90 victory points of a dream’.
Ulsan, who had 50 points by the 20th round, needs to win 40 points in the remaining 18 games to reach the ’90 victory points’.
As Ulsan previously recorded 14 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses (44 points) up to the 18th round, it is a record to challenge if there are no unexpected variables such as injuries to key players.
Since the promotion and relegation system was introduced in 2013, the most points in a K-League 1 season was 86 points (26 wins, 8 draws, 4 losses) by Jeonbuk Hyundai in 2018.
At that time, Jeonbuk recorded 16 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses (50 points) until the 20th round. Coincidentally, the results Ulsan won up to the 20th round this year and the wins and losses are the same.
In particular, during the nine seasons from 2014 to last year, when 12 teams competed, the average victory point of the K-League 1 winning teams was around 75 points.
Ulsan can aim for the championship if it wins 25 points or more in the remaining 18 games numerically. It is calculated that even if only half of the remaining games are won, it will lead to ‘K League 1 2nd consecutive victory’.
However, coach Hong remained humble, saying, “If you look forward to being greedy, the players will work hard to do better. I will play the season calmly and only thinking about winning every game.”