WORLD CUP: HIDDINK WARNS OF S'KOREAN THREAT
Dutchman Guus Hiddink has warned South Africa 2010 World Cup Group B opponents of South Korea to expect tough battles from the underdogs in the group stages of the sport showpiece, which kicks off on June11.
Nigeria, Argentina and Greece are the other teams in the group.
The Tigers of Asia, who will be making their eighth appearance at the World Cup in South Africa, are scheduled to engage Nigeria in Durban on June22.
The highly-respected Hiddink, who led South Korea to a fourth-place finish at the 2002 World Cup they co-hosted with Japan, insisted on Tuesday the squad he left behind had undergone a vast transformation and warned they could spring a surprise in South Africa.
'If you see the selection of the Korean team, then I think there is a good mix between young promising players who are playing here or even one or two are playing in Europe,' the Turkey manager told Korea Times.
'But also there are some remains from the successful team in 2002, players are around 30, 32 or 33, which means they have gathered a lot of experience.
'At the time when we started they were inexperienced but now these players they have gone all over the world and that is a huge contribution.''
The former Holland manager praised coach Huh Jung-moo for working hard for the Tigers' qualification for the World Cup.
He said, 'I think Huh can develop a very good strategy and I don't want to talk about strategy that is not exactly team skills, but he is very experienced to do so and I think its key to have the first game.
'I think its Greece on the first game, I think this is a key game to win, if not you might have a few problems against Nigeria and Argentina, so this first game is really a key game for Korea.'