Li Weifeng: Guangzhou city’s relegation depends on will. The relegation of Guangzhou team is the sorrow of the Chinese professional league

January 4th, the 2022 Chinese Super League season came to an end. Li Weifeng took over Guangzhou city halfway and finally led the team to relegation.
In an interview with "Football News", Li Weifeng talked about the mental journey of coaching Guangzhou City.

——Where does the confidence come from when taking over

Li Weifeng: When I first took over the team, it was impossible to talk about reversing relegation.
I did a job that many people dare not or dare not think about. I remember that I said at the first press conference when I took over the team that I often have to choose. If the current team is in good condition
, If the current situation of Chinese football is very good, then there will be fewer opportunities for young coaches like us. This is both an opportunity and a challenge. If we look at it in a positive direction, it will be a good thing.
At the beginning, when General Manager Zhang Bin approached me, I felt very sudden. After arriving in Guangzhou, the chairman of the club Huang Yu and Mr. Zhang conveyed the words of the chairman of R&F Group to me, and asked me if I have the confidence and responsibility to bring the team out of the predicament.
I said at the time that I dare to meet the challenge, but we need to face it together and complete it together.

——What kind of help does the club give you in terms of team management?

Li Weifeng: At that time, the personnel, injuries, and morale of the Guangzhou City team, all the preparations for the team at the beginning of the year were not fully done, and we had many problems and difficulties.
After I came to the team, Huang Dong and Mr. Zhang trusted me very much. At the beginning, we met and held meetings with the players. Afterwards, they seldom held meetings with the players. They would give me more confidence and trust, which is convenient.
My management and team leadership have given us more opportunities to display ourselves.
I think all our players are very good, because almost no one complains to me, no one has emotional fluctuations.
Within the controllable range of the coaching staff, these players have done a very good job.

——Talking about what the success of relegation depends on

Li Weifeng: In fact, for relegation, it is really a battle. When we had problems in November and faced great difficulties, what is the basis for relegation at this time?
It depends on the will of all people, the persistence of all people, and the dedication of all people.
There is no sympathy for anyone in football because everyone has difficulties.
The better the integrity of the team, the better it will be on the court. This is not just technical and tactical, but all-round, including team management and team health.

——Talk about the team’s extensive health problems

Li Weifeng: Yes.
When we are moving forward, there are many things that we dare not think about at the time, but you still have to face them.
When I played the third-to-last game, what bothered me the most was that the team doctor came to me every morning, because I wanted to make the team healthier and everyone I used to be healthy, but there were too many force majeure factors, this is not
I think if they are healthy, they will be healthy. I said that if they are healthy, they will be fine. For example, when the lockdown was lifted at the beginning of last month, many family members of players had health problems. When the players were playing outside, their family members had problems in Guangzhou.
, It was indeed too difficult at that time, but when the game was not played well, no one would listen to you talking about difficulties, complaining, and making excuses, but this is very fair, because the football world is like this, no one
I sympathize with you, everyone is concerned about the score and the outcome.

——How the club management convinced you to take over

Li Weifeng: When Mr. Zhang first approached me, he asked me if I would like to choose a challenge for Guangzhou football.
To be honest, Guangzhou Football occupies a very important position in Chinese football, including Guangzhou R&F and Guangzhou Evergrande.
For me, my career started in Shenzhen, Guangdong, and I have a Guangdong football complex.
R&F football is more localized. Before I took over the team, I wondered whether the football culture I experienced would collide with R&F?
Does my football philosophy match the team, including what am I going to do when I’m ready to pick up the team?

The Guangzhou City team does not lack skills, but due to certain factors at that time, the team was somewhat weak in the execution of skills and tactics, football attitude and will quality. What I have to do is how to solve these problems.
I talked with Mr. Zhang about our views on the team. From the establishment of R&F to the present, the team has played very well in the midfield, but in every season, the number of goals conceded is very inconsistent with the team’s ranking in the Super League.
Therefore, as a coach, I have to adjust the requirements and discipline of the players on the field.

——Which stage of coaching is the most difficult

Li Weifeng: The most difficult thing is the second transfer period, because when I first communicated with the club management, it was said that the second transfer window may open, I think, if I can bring in a few players, I can give it a shot.
When I first took over the team, the Guangzhou team had 11 points, the Wuhan Yangtze River team had 15 points, and the Guangzhou City team had 3 points.
However, when the transfer window was officially closed, our transfer window was not opened, but I was also prepared for this at the time, and I no longer wanted to introduce players, and I had to make good use of the players I had.

——Talking about the difference between leading Guangzhou City and Tianhai to relegation success

Li Weifeng: There is no comparison between the two teams.
In 2019, the Tianhai team had a problem with the group. The team was managed by the Tianjin Sports Bureau. At that time, the team was called the "Second National Football Team" because we invited Shen Xiangfu, the coach of the national team, and some players from the "Second National Football Team" came to Tianhai
team, Liao Lisheng was loaned from Guangzhou Evergrande