Right ankle healed, Koo aims to make an impact

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Right ankle healed, Koo aims to make an impact

AUGSBURG, Germany - Midfielder Koo Ja-cheol, just back after being out for two months with an ankle injury, says he will try to provide a much-needed boost for both his German club Augsburg and the Korean national team.

Koo sat down with Ilgan Sports, an affiliate of the JoongAng Ilbo on Monday, after scoring his first goal of the 2012-13 season in a 4-2 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

“Fortunately, the first goal came no later than I expected,” said Koo, referring to his third match back after hurting his right ankle.

He went down in the second game of the season against Schalke 04 on Sept. 1. During his seven-game absence, Augsburg fell to the bottom of the 18-team league. After Saturday’s match, the 12th of the season, Augsburg is still in 18th place with six points from a win and three draws.

Since being transferred on loan by another Bundesliga side, Wolfsburg, in January, the 23-year-old Korean led Augsburg out of the relegation zone with five goals in 15 games. Augsburg finished the 2011-12 season, its first-division debut, in 14th place. In Bundesliga, the two worst teams are relegated to the second division.

“We will secure 10 more points from the five games left this year,” Koo said.

He also said he was aware of rumors that Ji Dong-won, 21, of Sunderland and Han Kook-young of J-League side Shonan Bellmare might be headed to Augsburg. He said they would have a positive impact on the club.

A member of the Korean national team, Koo also talked about the Taegeuk Warriors, who are a point behind Uzbekistan in Group A with four qualifiers remaining. “I want to play at the World Cup and should play.”

By Park Rin, Moon Gwang-lip [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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