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Ex-nat'l football assistant coach expected back in same role

All News 09:36 April 15, 2017

SEOUL, April 15 (Yonhap) -- Former national men's football assistant coach Jung Hae-sung is expected to return to the same role next week, a senior national football official said Saturday.

The official with the Korea Football Association (KFA) said Jung, 59, will likely be named the top assistant to Uli Stielike "sometime next week."

Jung previously served on the national team bench at the 2002 and 2010 FIFA World Cups, working under Guus Hiddink and then Huh Jung-moo. South Korea reached the semifinals at the former, and made it to the round of 16 in the latter.

Jung has also been the head coach for the K League Classic clubs Jeonnam Dragons and Jeju United.

Once his appointment is made official, Jung will be tasked with helping Stielike right the wobbly ship that is South Korean football.

Stielike has been under fire for months following a string of mediocre matches in the final Asian qualifying round for the 2018 World Cup. In their two most recent matches, South Korea dropped to China 1-0 on the road and eked out a 1-0 win over Syria at home.

In this file photo taken on Jan. 21, 2014, Jung Hae-sung, then head of the referees committee at the Korea Football Association, speaks at a press conference in Seoul. Jung is expected to be named an asssitant coach to Uli Stielike on the men's national team next week. (Yonhap)

South Korea are in second place among six nations in Group A with 13 points from four wins, one draw and two losses, four points behind Iran and just one ahead of Uzbekistan. Only the top two nations will earn automatic World Cup berths, and the third-place team must go through playoffs. South Korea have made the past eight World Cup finals.

Though critics have called for Stielike's head, the KFA decided to stick with him and offered instead to bolster his coaching staff with an experienced tactician. The KFA had earlier brought in former national team stars Seol Ki-hyeon and Cha Du-ri to the staff, but they're still in their 30s with limited coaching experience.

South Korea's next qualifying match will be against Qatar in Doha on June 13.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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