Bruce backs Ji after criticism

BY foxsports • November 18, 2011

The 20-year-old was substituted at half-time in his country's World Cup qualifier against the United Arab Emirates on Friday and left out of the starting line-up for the clash with Lebanon four days later. Korea coach Cho Kwang-rae, who introduced him after the break in the second game, criticised the frontman's conditioning and his performance in Dubai. However, Bruce was quick to back his summer signing from Chunnam Dragons having recently experienced at first hand the after-effects of the gruelling journey to Seoul. He said on Friday: "It's quite understandable. If you ask a player to go 11,000 miles, I don't think he is going to be in the best of conditions, we realise that. "He has made that trip now four times in the last few months - I made it once and I was exhausted for a week, so to ask him to play football and run around and train, it's been difficult for the boy. "He is only 20 years old, so I would have thought that maybe the coach would have understood those sort of situations, but there you have it. "He's entitled to his opinion - he's the national manager of Korea - but I fully understand. "That's why I probably won't play Ji tomorrow. I know for a fact travelling back after a game on Tuesday, it's very, very difficult and you are not going to be at your physical best."

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