Son Heung-Min: South Korea must improve before Germany, Mexico clashes
South Korea star Son Heung-Min has warned his teammates they must cut out mistakes ahead of meetings with Germany, Mexico and Sweden at this summer's World Cup.
South Korea continued their preparations for Russia with a 3-2 defeat in Poland on Wednesday after battling back from 2-0 down.
Lee Chang-Min and Hwang Hee-Chan looked to have rescued a draw for South Korea after cancelling out goals by Robert Lewandowski and Kamil Grosicki but Piotr Zielinksi earned Poland victory in stoppage-time.
Afterwards, Son warned his teammates that repeat mistakes will be punished in a tricky World Cup group alongside the four-time champions, Mexico and Italy's conquerers in the playoffs, Sweden.
"For Poland's first goal, they sent in a good cross for Lewandowski, who is such a good player, but we should not have allowed the second goal," Son told the Yonhap News Agency.
"At the World Cup, all teams are stronger than we are, and if we concede easy goals, we'll face serious problems. Germany are stronger than Poland. If we concede goals like we did in the first half, we'll really have some trouble.
"I think little things make differences in football. We have to accept that we're not superior to others and need to concentrate even on small things."
The defeat left South Korea with back-to-back losses this week after a surprise 2-1 reverse in Northern Ireland last week and Son added: "It's positive that our strong mentality helped us score two goals later, but as a player, it's a pity that we couldn't get a good result in the end.
"It makes us think about our shortcomings instead of our strengths."
Son is expected to deputise for injured teammate Harry Kane as the central striker in Tottenham's upcoming match against Chelsea and he started as a lone forward in Poland before South Korea switched to 4-4-2 in the second half.
"When we're using three forwards, I was left alone most of the time," he said. "I had to wait for the ball and had to create space for teammates. If we can use the two-forward system well, I think our attack can be upgraded."
Tae-Yong Shin, South Korea's boss, has expressed concerns about Son burning out ahead of the finals in June and July and the Spurs star admitted he is currently feeling the strain.
"Not only myself, but all the players should avoid injury," he said. "We're all tired physically and mentally right now, but I hope all of us can make better efforts to prepare for the World Cup."
Dan is ESPN FC's Tottenham correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Dan_KP.