By Angus MacSwan
PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil, June 22 (Reuters) - South Korea coach
Hong Myung-bo blasted his team's woeful defending in their 4-2
World Cup Group H loss to Algeria on Sunday, saying the players
he picked had let him down.
"The defence wasn't what it should have been, our players
were not up to standard," Hong told reporters after the defeat
which left South Korea bottom of the group.
"I would like to apologise to the Korean fans and I promise
we will do our best for the next match," he said.
South Korea's defending had been a major cause for concern
in the leadup to the World Cup and slack play at the back cost
them a goal against Russia in their 1-1 draw on Tuesday.
"We did analyse the strategies but the result was such that
I could say it was not well done," Hong said.
"The result speaks for itself, so that was incorrect on our
part. But we have to look ahead. As we conceded a lot of goals,
there was a strategic mistake on our part."
Hong rejected any suggestion that South Korea had taken
Algeria too lightly.
"No we did not underestimate the team, we knew they were
strong," he said. "We were on the defensive and the defence was
weak. They were not concentrating and did not defend well."
Hong said there was a communication breakdown that allowed
Algeria to take a 3-0 first-half lead.
"There was not enough communication between the defensive
players," he said. "It was something we can learn from but the
three goals in the first half were really regrettable."
Hong said his team still have hopes of advancing.
"We still have one game left (against Belgium) and I want my
players to recover well," he said. "We have to recover very
quickly in the time remaining, make sure our players calm down
and prepare well. We haven't thought about a change in line-up
but we will do our best to the end."
(Writing by Erik Kirschbaum, editing by Ed Osmond)