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Jan 26, 2012

Park won't reverse Korea retirement

Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung insists there is no chance of him coming out of international retirement to help reignite South Korea's 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

• Rewind: Hiddink's winter of discontent

The Taeguk Warriors are currently top of their group, but have failed to impress and a 2-1 defeat to Lebanon in their last outing lead to the sacking of coach Cho Kwang-Rae.

Park has been urged by supporters to return to the international fold that he left after South Korea's Asian Cup semi-final defeat to eventual winners Japan last year, but the former captain says he will not reverse his decision.

"If I had thoughts to return I would have never made the retirement announcement," Park said. "I don't think the national team could overcome the difficult situation with just a player like me returning to the team.

"Those reports that our team is in crisis may affect players, but if players perform like they have been doing and concentrate, there will be a good result. The national team is better than Kuwait, so I just hope players don't think too much on the match.''

Meanwhile, Park has offered some soothing words of advice to compatriot Park Chu-Young, who has struggled to make the grade since joining his former international team-mate in the Premier League when signing for Arsenal last August.

"Chu-young has amassed experience from an early age and it's not the first time he has played in Europe, so I believe he knows what to do," Park told Korean daily Ilgan Sports.

"I think he knows that committing his duty faithfully and not feeling discouraged is an important thing.''

Park also admitted his personal disappointment in not making as big an impact with United as he would have liked this season. Despite making 20 appearances so far, the midfielder has only scored two goals and appears poised to fall short of the target of 10 he set himself at the start of the campaign.

"It feels bad that I have only scored two since I had scored five goals by this time last season," Park said. "But since there is the second half of the season, you never know until the end.''

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