Manager Yoon brings winning ways to Suwon

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Manager Yoon brings winning ways to Suwon

The Suwon Bluewings are making a surge in the K-League standings under the leadership of new manager Yoon Sung-hyo.

Suwon ranked dead last in the standings prior to Yoon’s arrival, recording just 10 wins to go along with two draws and 11 losses on the season.But Yoon, who joined the club in June, has led the team to a record of nine wins, one draw and one loss - moving the Bluewings up to seventh place in the league standings and amassing a five-game winning streak.

The latest win came against arch rival FC Seoul on Saturday. The Bluewings won the game 4-2 in front of a home crowd of 42,377 - an attendance record for Suwon World Cup Stadium. In keeping with his attack-minded strategy, Yoon went with Shin Yon-rok and Japanese forward Naohiro Takahara up front and Yeom Ki-hun, Kim Do-heon, Mauricio Diogo and Lee Sang-ho in the midfield.

“The decision to use attack-minded midfielders worked out well,” Yoon said during a post-match press conference. “We were looking to earn a win today, and we went into the game looking to attack. We will continue to approach games that way. If we manage to beat Seongnam Ilhwa on Sept. 1, we can increase our chances of reaching the playoffs.”

Yoon - who played for Suwon in the late 1990s and most recently managed the Soongsil University football squad - has been stressing the importance of offense, and his players have responded well. Suwon averaged 1.57 goals per game prior to Yoon taking over the team; it now scores an average of 2.64 goals per game.

It did not take long on Saturday for the Bluewings to get points on the board, though they got some big help from the opposing side when FC Seoul defender Kim Jin-kyu scored in his own net three minutes into the match. Suwon’s Lee Sang-ho padded the lead with a goal in the 26th minute, but FC Seoul came back to tie the game with two quick goals in the first 11 minutes of the second half.

With time running out and the game headed for a tie, Takahara came to the rescue with a go-ahead goal in the 84th minute before sealing the win with another in the 90th minute.

“I’m happy to have scored in a big rivalry game,” Takahara said in a post-game interview. “I wanted to contribute to a win against a rival on our home field for the fans.”

Suwon is clicking well as a team at this point, but Yoon sees room for improvement. “I want my players to improve their passing work,” he said.

By Jason Kim [jason@joongang.co.kr]

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