South Korea coach Jürgen Klinsmann has pledged to supporters to end his team's drought in the Asian Cup at the next edition in Qatar next January.
South Korea reached the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup as a co-host country, but they have not won the continental title since 1960.
Klinsmann has had mixed results since replacing Portugal's Paulo Bento in February, failing to win his first five matches before stringing together three straight victories.
The German coach said it was "right" for fans to expect his team to lift the trophy and that he would accept the blame if they failed to do so.
“We have to aim for the highest goal, and if we don't achieve it, it's the coach's fault, no problem,” he said.
The former Mannschaft striker stressed that he will aim for nothing less than the title when the tournament, delayed by the pandemic, begins in January.
“We want to go there and win the Asian Cup,” the former Germany and United States coach summarized to journalists.
South Korea will leave as Asian Cup favorites, with Klinsmann able to call on stars like Tottenham's Son Heung-min, Bayern Munich's Kim Min-jae and Paris Saint-Germain's Lee Kang-in.
The “Taeguk Warriors” lost in the 2015 Asian Cup final to Australia and were eliminated by Qatar in the quarter-finals four years later.
Klinsmann has not had an easy time since taking office, as supporters and media accuse him of reneging on his promise to settle in the country, saying he is spending more time at him in California than in South Korea.
Klinsmann defended his approach by pointing out that 70% of his players were based in Europe and said he would not change the way he works.
“The KFA knew I would be going back and forth, they knew I viewed my work from an international perspective, not a national one,” he said.
“I am not a K-League coach, I am an international coach,” justified the former Bayern Munich coach, whose team begins its qualifying campaign for the 2026 World Cup by hosting Singapore on Thursday, before travel to China five days later.