Kim - Don't write us off
Kim Jong-Hun is confident North Korea can defy expectations and progress to the World Cup knockout stages.
Last Updated: 25/05/10 11:23am
North Korea coach Kim Jong-Hun is confident his side can defy expectations and progress to the World Cup knockout stages.
The North delivered a major upset last time they competed in the World Cup finals in 1966, seeing off Italy to advance to the quarter-finals.
And although Kim's men have been written off by many as the weakest team in the tournament this time around, the coach is nevertheless backing them for surprise success.
"I believe we will at least pass the first round," Kim told the Yonhap News agency. "We have the strong spirit of challenge to upset expectations.
"Speaking on behalf of the players, (the team) will seek to do well and make the world see Chosun football in a new perspective and a new eye."
North Korea almost pulled off a shock win after leading Portugal 3-0 in the 1966 quarter-finals in England, ultimately succumbing 5-3.
But striker Jong Tae-se insists his side can reach the last eight once again by finishing in the top two of Group G, which also features Brazil, Portugal and Ivory Coast.
"Brazil will be first and we will win second place," said the Kawasaki Frontale forward.
"We are a good team with traits that no other country has. No one knows what will happen and we have the possibility."
North Korea, who will take on fellow qualifiers Greece in a warm-up match on Tuesday, open their World Cup bid against Brazil on 15th June in Johannesburg.