Date:Friday January 27 2006
Ki-Hyeon Seol is looking forward to taking on Manchester United on Sunday. United have a massive following in the far east and the tie will get huge coverage in his homeland
Not that Seol doesn’t already. He usually has his own press pack who report back home on his every move, such is the interest in the first South Korean player to ply his trade in England
Last year was Seol’s first foray in the FA Cup. Wolves campaign ended against Arsenal at Highbury, so he is getting used to playing against the country’s elite.
And whilst he is looking forward to pitting himself against the likes of Wes Brown and Rio Ferdinand, he can perhaps be forgiven for wishing for an easier 4th round tie.
Speaking to the Express and Star he said :
'It's a big challenge for us,'
'We wanted to draw a team from the Premiership but not a top team, we would have preferred West Ham, Aston Villa or someone like that.
'Instead we've got as fixture like last season when we drew a big team in Arsenal.'
And he is also aware that whilst United may not be having teh best of season's, their will be no roomfor errors come Sunday afternoon when the two sides take the pitch.
'It makes it a very difficult game for us because Manchester United are one of the best teams in the world, even if they're not top of the league this time.
Wolves go into the tie as definate underdogs. Their season has never really taken off, and its a situation that has seen them fail to live up to their pre season billing.
But that could all work in Wolverhampton Wanderers favour, as Seol points out.
'We're also playing at home and under no pressure because they'll be expected to win.
'We also want to win but the difference is that we can go out and enjoy the game and hopefully get a good result.
Sky camera's caught the player's reaction to the draw, and the eruption of cheers when United were paired with Wolves.
'The draw certainly created some excitement between the lads. When it was made and we realised we'd got Manchester United, everyone was laughing and really excited.' said Seol.
And for a player who possibly thought he would be playing in The Premiership already, the match represents a real highlight against the backdrop of Championship football.
'It's like playing in the final or winning the cup for us because at the moment we don't get the chance to play against big teams every week.' enthused Seol
Sunday could also see Seol come face to face with fellow countryman Park Ji-Sung.
United’s midfield has been decimated by injuries, but Park returned to training yesterday after recovering from a knee injury and may be drafted straight into the side.
And if two Koreans take the field on Sunday interest back at home will undoubtedly intensify.
'With another Korean boy - Park Ji-Sung - being at United it will be a big tie in Korea,' said Seol.
'Unfortunately, he's coming back from injury at the moment so he might not play, but anyway it will be a very interesting game.
'I know Park very well from playing in the national team together and we often travel together for international games.
'People back home will be wanting him to play in the FA Cup against Wolves and they want to see us play each other.
'That would be big news in Korea so hopefully he will be ok.'
Wolves desperately need Seol, and everyone else to pull out all the stops against United. And the team have usually managed to raise their game when the Cup comes around.
It promises to be a thrilling encounter on the wide open expanse of the Molineux pitch. And if Seol gets the chance to use his attacking flair, we could well be in for a treat.
And if they choose to underestimate his ability, Alex Ferguson's men could find there is a high price to pay.
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