South Korea's Ji Dong-Won hopes to fill Park Chu-Young void

The 20-year-old Sunderland striker admits there's huge responsibility and pressure on him to fill the shoes of the overlooked star man for the Taeguk Warriors
South Korea striker Ji Dong-Won says he'll try to fill the void of overlooked star man Park Chu-Young when the Taeguk Warriors play upcoming matches against Spain, Qatar and Lebanon.

The Arsenal striker was left out of coach Choi Kang-Hee's squad for the matches due to his ongoing military service saga with many fans criticising Park for his decision to defer his compulsory duty after obtaining a 10-year Monaco residency permit.

Sunderland striker Ji, 20, admitted the absence of Park, who scored eight goals in consecutive five internationals last year, will create a "void" but is hopeful he can fill it, despite the pressure and responsibility of the role.

"Of course I feel the pressure and responsibility. But the players will discuss with each other how to minimise the damage," Ji told reporters at the National Training Centre on Monday afternoon.

Ji said the former national team captain's absence was something he'd never envisaged.

"Actually, I've never imagined national team without him," he said. "A definite starting member is omitted. But the rest of us should fill the void."

The former Chunnam Dragons striker, who made 21 first-team appearances and scored two goals in his first season in English football, added he was delighted to be called up by Choi for the first time, but said he was concerned by his recent lack of gametime with the Black Cats.

"I'm glad to be called to the national team by coach Choi Kang-Hee for the first time," he said. "I have not played many games this season so I'm little bit worried about my form.

"But I've kept worked hard and I'm going to keep doing it here with familar faces I know."

He continued: "I think I've gained something from the year. I've seen much, heard much and learned much. I can't say exactly what it is but I'm definitely better in every way. I just want to show it to fans."

South Korea take on Spain in a friendly in Switzerland on May 30, before World Cup qualifiers against Qatar (June 8) and Lebanon (June 13).

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