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South Korea New football coach slams predecessor's lack of strategy

He was fired last month following a run of poor results including qualifying defeats to China, Iran and Qatar.

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South Korea's new national football team coach Shin Tae-Yong speaks during a press conference at the Korea Football Association in Seoul, on July 6, 2017 play

South Korea's new national football team coach Shin Tae-Yong speaks during a press conference at the Korea Football Association in Seoul, on July 6, 2017

(AFP)

South Korea's new football coach criticised his predecessor Uli Stielike on Thursday, accusing the veteran German of lacking strategies and blaming communication difficulties with the players for poor results.

Stielike, 62, won the European Championship and was a World Cup runner-up with Germany as a player, and went on to manage Switzerland and Ivory Coast, along with a series of clubs, before taking the reins in Seoul.

But he was fired last month following a run of poor results including qualifying defeats to China, Iran and Qatar that have left South Korea in danger of missing direct qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

"It's a bit awkward to talk about the former coach, but I think the problem was the shortage in strategies," said Shin Tae-Yong in his first appearance in front of the media since being appointed earlier this week.

"Stielike was a foreigner and Koreans tend to shy away from foreigners and this was a problem," he added.

Communication difficulties including language barriers were also a point of distraction, he said.

Shin Tae-Yong, 46, is a former midfielder for Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and Brisbane Roar, where he had a brief stint as assistant coach before returning to his Korean club as manager in 2010 and winning the AFC Champions League play

Shin Tae-Yong, 46, is a former midfielder for Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and Brisbane Roar, where he had a brief stint as assistant coach before returning to his Korean club as manager in 2010 and winning the AFC Champions League

(AFP)

Shin, 46, is a former midfielder for Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma and Brisbane Roar, where he had a brief stint as assistant coach before returning to his Korean club as manager in 2010 and winning the AFC Champions League.

"I am different from Stielike in style," he said. "I will pick whoever is showing good performances."

Shin has a reputation as a troubleshooter and took the national U23s to the quarter-finals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, after his predecessor developed cancer and left the previous year.

He also steered South Korea to the same stage of this year's U20 World Cup on home soil.

Shin said the biggest regret of his life was not playing in the World Cup, but described the opportunity to take the Taeguk Warriors to a ninth consecutive appearance at the finals was a chance to compensate for that.

The Taeguk Warriors' 3-2 defeat to Qatar -- the first in 32 years against that country -- followed earlier losses to China and Iran and left them clinging to the last direct qualifying spot in Group A with two games to go.

"Korean football is in crisis but I also see a silver lining on the horizon," Shin said.

"We have to win the matches against Iran and Uzbekistan at any cost."

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