The 2023 season is also fierce for Ulsan Hyundai. Ulsan broke away from winning the first championship in 17 years in the K-League 1 last year. That momentum continues. It is not at all awkward to say that it is unmatched. Ulsan stepped on the 30-point high for the first time in 12 games. After 12 rounds, 10 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss, 31 points were harvested. After 6 wins in a row, 1 draw and 1 loss, it slowed down, but it is sprinting again with 4 wins in a row. The difference between the 2nd place FC Seoul (23 points, 7 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses) is 8 points. The gap with Pohang Steelers (20 points, 5 wins, 5 draws, 2 losses), the “East Coast rival” that once pursued Ulsan, widened to 11 points.

Nevertheless, Ulsan coach Hong Myung-bo is not letting go of tension. Even ahead of the home game against Gangwon FC, which was expected to win easily on the 9th, he kept repeating the words, “It will be a difficult game.” It was real. In fact, it was difficult to break through Gangwon’s ‘choking defense’. Fortunately, with ‘Luck of VAR (Video Reading)’, I caught a 1-0, new victory.

Coach Hong said, “This is a game that is good for a draw. If you keep attacking, you can get hit and lose with a counterattack. We prepared well. There is a big difference between drawing and winning.”

There is also ‘Taboo Words’ directed by Hong. It is a ‘sole system’. He went so far as to say, “Not telling the players that I am a solo player is the best way for me to prepare for the next match.” There are no gaps. “There is only one message I can give to the players at this time. Humility. I am emphasizing that part. Everyone expects us to win, of course. This is a battlefield. If you don’t win, you die. Going to the battlefield in a calm state is also difficult for sports psychology.”

Director Hong’s message is clear. Awaken the string of tension with a different motivation for each match. Kim Young-kwon, who is at the peak of ‘Hong Myung-bo’s soccer’, said, “From the coach, we have been motivating each game. He clearly explains why we have to win and win points in every game. Recognize the reason and enter the stadium. So Good results are coming out안전놀이터. I have faith in the director’s words, so it’s going well.”

Player management is also special. Kim Young-kwon is a good example. At 33, he is a senior. Other center back resources such as captain Jung Seung-hyeon, Kim Ki-hee and Lim Jong-eun have a comma due to injuries and rotations. Kim Young-kwon is the only full-time participant in the all-time competition. The only single-digit loss (9 goals) among 12 teams is possible because Kim Young-kwon is holding on. Kim Young-kwon gave credit, saying, “There are parts that are physically difficult, but the coaching staff is managing them well, focusing on recovery between games as much as possible. It’s also a big help to me.” Director Hong also said, “There is no problem at all.”

Regarding the ‘leading secret’, Kim Young-kwon said, “The decisive reason is that the players think more highly of the players next to them. We have been making it steadily since last year, and this year we are creating a synergistic effect.” He also added, “There are more points than I thought, and there are many losses, regardless of whether or not they are small. My goal was not to lose a single match. I feel uncomfortable having one loss, but I will do my best to maintain one loss after one loss.” On the 14th, Ulsan invites FC Seoul, which is right below it, to its home.

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