Not too late to make the play-offs, insists Chung-Yong

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , chief football writer

CHUNG-YONG Lee is “thinking positive” about Wanderers’ chances of gatecrashing the play-off party.

Unbeaten in four and with back-to-back home wins for the first time in nearly a year, Dougie Freedman’s side are showing signs their relegation hangover is finally beginning to clear.

There still remains a daunting 10-point gap between themselves and Brighton, who occupy the final play-off spot, with 13 games to play.

But Korean winger Chung-Yong, who put in his best display of the season in Saturday’s morale-boosting 4-1 win over Hull City, believes anything is still possible if the team can stay on a roll.

“I think we can still get to the play-offs,” he told The Bolton News. “I am thinking positive.

“There is not a big gap to the top six, so I think we still have time to do it.

“It is great to have all our players back like Stuart Holden and David Wheater. We have a stronger squad now and that means we can play at our top level.”

Thoughts turn instantly to tomorrow night and the visit of Peterborough United, who were beaten 2-0 at home by Birmingham to stay at the foot of the Championship table.

Any over-confidence will be checked by the fact that Posh were also bottom when they dished out an embarrassing 5-4 defeat at London Road just before Christmas in one of the Whites’ worst displays of the season.

Chung-Yong has reason to be upbeat heading into the game, however, after completing his best 90 minutes since returning from a year out of the game with a double broken leg.

The former FC Seoul man absorbed some heavy physical punishment but believes he is now back to something like his old self.

“I think that was my best performance of the season,” he said. “I can’t wait for Tuesday now.

“I had to work hard before the season started because I had been injured for a long time. But I am working hard now too.

“I feel the same now as I did before the injury and getting better all the time.

“I need a bit more confidence on the pitch. I’m nearly 100 per cent now.”

Chung-Yong also hinted that the increased intensity of training under Dougie Freedman compared with his predecessor has also had a positive effect on his form.

“This manager has been good for me because I think the training sessions are harder than they were under Owen Coyle,” he said. “Physically, it has improved me.”

Freedman also had praise for Chung-Yong.

“He’s a very good football player and in my dictionary, that’s someone who works hard for his team and puts them before himself with graft,” he said.

“Talent can only get you so far and Chungy for me is only a good player because his all-round game and his work-rate is good.

“He’s the kind of player you want to see as a coach on the training ground.

“I’m a football fan and I think he’s the kind of player I want to see on the pitch as well.

“They appreciate the good play for the first goal and the hard work to win the ball back in the last five minutes.

“That, for me, is an all-round good football player.”

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