Petrescu on ‘6 months in Jeonbuk

“There’s a long way to go, but I’m generally satisfied…I’ll have a good preseason”

Jeonbuk Hyundai head coach Dan Petrescu reflects on his short six months with the club.

Jeonbuk came from behind to win 3-2 against Bangkok United in their final Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League Group F match of the 2023/24 season at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Wednesday.

After conceding an early goal to Wan Chai in the fourth minute, Jeonbuk equalized in the 42nd minute through Moon Sun-min. Lee Dong-joon scored back-to-back goals in the 31st and 33rd minutes of the second half to take the lead, and despite conceding a late goal from Rungrat Phumichantuk in the 40th minute, Jeonbuk did not concede the equalizer.

Jeonbuk secured second place in the group (4 W, 2 D, 12 pts). By securing a spot in the round of 16, which is awarded to the top three teams from each group, Jeonbuk will play in the Champions League tournament in the first half of next year. Jeonbuk will face Bangkok in the round of 16.

In his post-match press conference, Petrescu said, “Jeonbuk didn’t start well. They conceded early. I don’t understand it, but this is soccer. After the goal, we didn’t create many chances. “We scored in the second half, but we had a lot of shots on goal. We could have scored more goals. Conceding a set-piece in the second half was the only blemish, but we’re in the round of 16 and we deserve it. It’s a result with the whole club, the players and the fans. We hope to do even better next year.”

When asked to evaluate the season, Petrescu said, “I only had six months. It’s hard to evaluate the whole season. If I look back at my six months at Jeonbuk, I think we did our job and finishing runner-up in the FA Cup was unfortunately not a good result. We were down to seventh or eighth place and we improved. In the Champions League, we made it to the next round. We have a long way to go, but in the short term, we are happy with the season.”

When asked to evaluate the six-month season, Petrescu said, “It’s not good to evaluate yourself. I’m in a profession where I’m judged by people.” “It was a difficult year. I came to a new country and had to adapt. I was with new professional players and I’m happy that I gave 100%. I made mistakes sometimes. Everyone makes mistakes and learns from them. I try to improve and work on myself. That’s how I am and that’s how the team is.”

When asked what direction he plans to take the team as he looks ahead to next year, he replied, “First, I’m going to increase the interaction with the players because we all know each other well. Secondly, we need to have a good preseason. I heard that a lot of players didn’t have a good preseason. It has to be better. Third, we want to bring in new players. We will make the right choices in the transfer market and bring in the right players for Jeonbuk.”


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