Acting coach Lee Jong-woon has thrown his hat in the ring to take the reins of Lotte after an eight-year absence since 2015.
Speaking ahead of the 2023 Shinhan Bank SOL KBO League match against the Hanwha Eagles at Eagles Park in Daejeon on the 29th, Lee Jong-woon said, “I’m embarrassed to suddenly take on the role of acting head coach,” but added, “I think the players will feel responsible for this. It’s not the coach’s responsibility alone. I sent a message to the players saying, ‘We know what we have to do, and let’s do our best one game at a time for the fans.'”
Lotte had an abrupt end-of-season coaching change. Head coach Larry Sutton announced his resignation on Aug. 28 for health reasons. Twice this season, Sutton suffered from dizziness and was unable to manage the team.
After careful consideration, the club accepted his resignation and appointed Jong-woon Lee as acting head coach for the remainder of the season.
Lee Jong-woon had been in charge of the first team in the 2015 season. It had been eight years since he led the first team.
“It’s a bit embarrassing to suddenly be named acting head coach. But someone has to do it now. I thought I could help the team a little bit,” he said.
He said he had spoken to Sutton the day before (Aug. 28). ”I saw him yesterday before he came up (to Daejeon). He apologized. We didn’t do a good job on the sidelines. All I could say was sorry. He told me to finish well and hugged me, but I felt so sorry for him.”
He also talked to the front office about the rest of the season. ”He said that because of the situation, he left a lot to me and asked me to get the team together and play well,” he said. 온라인바카라
For now, the head coach position will remain vacant. “I think it’s right to work with the existing coaches rather than having someone take over as head coach,” Lee said.
He has a clear message for the players. ”I think the players will feel the responsibility. I think they will take it seriously. ”I told them, ‘You guys know what you have to do, but let’s do our best game by game, game by game, in a good way for the fans,'” he said.
“When I see the fans come (to the stadium) and clap and cheer, I know we have to do better. The players have to feel it. If they don’t, I don’t think they deserve to be professionals. It’s a team sport, so I told them that if they do anything against teamwork, I won’t make an exception and won’t go with them for the rest of the season,” he said firmly.
He also ordered his veterans, including Jeon Jun-woo, Ahn Chi-hong, and Jeong Hoon. ”I spoke openly with the veterans,” he says, “and told them that the more difficult the team gets, the more they need to take center stage. I think veterans are only veterans if they play a role in times like this. I told them to communicate with each other and let the seniors do the hard part.”