Short-term Korea plan for Choi

New South Korea coach Choi Kang-hee wants to lead the national team through qualification for the 2014 World Cup and then step down to return to club management.

Football News: Koo Ja-Cheol, South Korea

Choi was appointed yesterday and succeeds Cho Kwang-rae who was dismissed on December 8 following poor results.

After seven seasons with Jeonbuk Motors and two K-league titles and the 2006 AFC Champions League triumph, Choi was reluctant to leave the current champions to take the national team coaching job and told a press conference in Seoul on Thursday that he hopes to Jeonju.

"I have requested that I be replaced before the World Cup if we get that far," he said.

"The saddest part is to leave Jeonbuk and that is why I refused the job at first. Even until a week ago, I didn't even think at all that I would be leaving Jeonbuk.

"I thought about it a lot and it is not a case of goodbye but so long. The contract with the national team will end in June 2013. Personally, I want to return to Jeonbuk."

November's loss in Lebanon not only cost Cho Kwang-rae his job but left the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists needing a point against Kuwait on February 29 to be sure of a place in the final phase of qualification.

"The game against Kuwait is the most important thing," Choi said. "I think that I should select more K-league players than overseas player as those overseas are not playing so much for their clubs and can lose some of their sharpness."

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