By Angus MacSwan
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil, June 21 (Reuters) - Algeria must speed up, attack more, and be mentally strong if they are to overcome a superior South Korea in their World Cup Group H match, coach Vahid Halilhodzic said.
On the eve of Sunday's match in Porto Alegre, the Franco Bosnian coach was lavish in his praise for South Korea and brutally frank about his own young side's shortcomings.
Indeed, at times in his news conference on Saturday he appeared to be playing down expectations. But he also stressed Algeria had every intention of winning.
"We need to win this match to be able to make it a playoff against Russia. A victory would be a very nice present to the Algerian people from the team and from myself," he said.
The Desert Foxes nearly provided an upset in their opening game against a fancied Belgium, opening the scoring with their first World Cup goal in 28 years before giving away two in the last 20 minutes.
Belgium head the Group H standings with Russia and Korea joint second after their opening 1-1 draw.
Halilhodzic said he would make changes to the side.
"We will achieve something with courage, determination and discipline," he said.
Asked about criticism that he relied too much on defence, he said: "This team is rather young. Our problem is that when we have the ball we have not attacked enough. I think we had a psychological block."
He said the team, which is largely built around French-born players from immigrant heritage and is the only Arab team in the tournament, was still in the building process. It was premature to expect major achievements from them just yet, he said.
"We should improve the way we move, we should speed up. We are not the favourite team here."
South Korea had played together for some time and were disciplined and well-structured, he said.
"They are fast, explosive, aggressive. They can apply pressure. The Korean team is basically better. But we will do our best." (Editing by Justin Palmer)
- Sports & Recreation
- South Korea