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Hong still feeling pain

14 June 2014 08:27

South Korea defender Hong Jeong-Ho admits he is still feeling some foot pain as his team prepare to face Russia on Tuesday.

Doctors have cleared Hong, who bruised his foot in South Korea's 1-0 loss to Tunisia on May 28, to play in his nation's FIFA World Cup opener at the Arena Pantanal in Cuiaba.

But whether 24-year-old Augsburg defender Hong is ready remains to be seen after he told a news conference he was still in pain.

"There is still some time left until we face Russia," he said.

"I still feel some pain but I am going to prepare the best I can."

South Korea, who are joined by Belgium, Russia and Algeria in Group H, come into Brazil 2014 in questionable form.

They have lost four of their past five outings, including being on the wrong end of two 4-0 thrashings at the hands of Mexico and Ghana.

Hong said working on their defence had been a major focus.

"We (Hong and fellow defender Kim Young-gwon) watch a lot of videos together, especially the ones showing our mistakes," Hong said.

"We try to talk to each other and to the rest of our defence to get everyone on the same page."

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