Son Heung-min wants to help Paulo Bento get off to winning start

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Korea Republic star Son Heung-min is determined to help new coach Paulo Bento start his reign with a win against Costa Rica on Friday.

Bento, who replaced Shin Tae-yong following the conclusion of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, will take charge of the Taegeuk Warriors for the first time against the Costa Ricans, before following it up against Chile next Tuesday.

Both sides will pose stern opposition for a Korea Republic side preparing for next January’s AFC Asian Cup 2019 in United Arab Emirates.

While victory may be not be as important is such a fixture, Son insists there is still plenty of motivation to start the Bento era on a right note.

“I know it’s his debut match,” said Son, according to the Asian Football Confederation’s official website.

“I will make sure he’ll have good memories.”

Son is coming off the back of a successful Asian Games 2018 campaign, where he led his side to the gold medal, and is now looking forward to UAE 2019 although – as part of the deal which saw Tottenham allow him to play in Indonesia recently – he will miss his country’s first two games next January.

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2018 Asian Game Winner 우리 팀원들 코칭스태프 또 우리 지원스태프 너무 감사하고 사랑하고 또 부족한 저를 정말로 빛나게 해줘서 너무 고맙습니다 주장으로써 처음으로 나간 국제 대회에서 이런 좋은성적을 낼수 있게 해줘서 너무나도 영광입니다 너무 많이 고생했고 진짜로 정말 진심으로 감사합니다 그리고 정말 저를 응원해주시는 팬분들 또는 전세계 축구팬분들 뭐라고 말씀을 드려야 할지 모르겠습니다 너무 많은 성원 너무많은 응원을 받아서 정말 많은 책임감 느끼고 감사하게 생각합니다 정말로 팬분들 덕분에 제가 금메달이라는거를 목에 걸수 있었습니다 저한테 평생 잊지 못할 추억 만들어주셔서 감사합니다 앞으로 대한민국을 위해서 대한민국 축구를 위해서 또 저 손흥민을 위해서 최선을 다해서 발전된 모습 보이도록 노력 정말 많이 하겠습니다! 감사하고 사랑합니다❤️ 금메달은 국민의 것입니다🥇

A post shared by Son HeungMin(손흥민)🇰🇷 (@hm_son7) on

“We are going to compete with the Asian Games title under our belt,” added the Tottenham star.

“It’s not going to be easy, but we’ll prepare hard.

“We have so many good players in this team.”

And, although it is only the start of Bento’s time in charge, Son has already been impressed with what he has seen.

“I was impressed with his training programme,” added the 26-year-old.

“Bento doesn’t miss small things, and he gives orders in detail.”

Korea Republic, runners-up at the last Asian Cup in 2015, have been drawn in Group C and will take on Philippines, Kyrgyz Republic and China PR.