Mon, 30 Nov, -0001
Sao Paulo: Hong Myung-bo plans to consider his future at the helm of the Korea Republic national team after his side were eliminated from the FIFA World Cup finals following a 1-0 loss against 10-man Belgium on Thursday.
Jan Vertonghen scored the only goal of the game as the Belgians picked up all three points despite Steven Dafour's sending off late in the first half, condemning the Koreans to a second defeat in a row.
The loss meant Korea accumulated just one point from their three games in Group H – from their opening 1-1 draw with Russia – and finished bottom of the standings.
However, Hong, who took over one year ago following the departure of Choi Kang-hee, stressed he would make the decision on his own terms.
"It's difficult to say right now but it's something that I will decide later on," he said when asked if he would continue in the role.
"Personally I did my best given the situation and this World Cup, for me, the main goal was to not have any regrets vis-a-vis the tournament. We weren't up to the standard, we weren't good enough but we did our best and I don't have any regrets.
"More than anything it was important for our players to play on the big stage and to gain this kind of experience."
Hong, who led the Koreans to the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in London two years ago as head coach, was coaching at the World Cup for the first time having played for his country on four occasions and twice served as an assistant.
He was criticized in some quarters for selected a young squad that featured just four of the players who helped Korea to the second round in South Africa in 2010, but denied his decision would be influenced by the reaction of the media or fans.
"I personally am not swayed by people's opinions," he said. "I will make my judgment call and I will make the decision, that's what I've done up until now.
"I don't know what will happen in the future, but right now I'm willing to accept what is given. I can only repeat that we started with this team and we have to stay together until the end. I want to be responsible for this team right until the very end."