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South Korea coach Stielike hits back at media

South Korea coach Uli Stielike showed signs of pressure, hitting back at reporters ahead of his side's Asian Cup clash against Australia.

The German's team go into Saturday's match in Brisbane second in Group A, with their place in the quarter-finals sealed.

But unimpressive 1-0 wins, the latter after Stielike made seven changes for a meeting with Kuwait, have seen South Korea's Asian Cup chances queried.

In his pre-match media conference on Friday, Stielike was asked why he changed his centre-backs during the tournament.

"It's difficult. Kwak Tae-hwi had [an] injury and could not play in first two matches. Kim Ju-young's condition was bad due to illness. I cannot let them play," he said.

"I did not come here to keep changing players while trying to win. It's not my intention.

"Please check some information before you write articles."

Stielike talked up his team's defending, highlighting they had kept three straight clean sheets despite changes.

"I have tested many defenders, I wanted to see them. But during tournament, change was inevitable," he said.

"Anyway, we had clean sheets in last three matches. I want to emphasise that. Whoever plays, we're not conceding goals."

Stielike said the likes of Son Heung-min, Koo Ja-cheol and Kim Chang-soon had trained on Thursday for the first time in five days, after a virus had ripped through his squad.

The former Real Madrid midfielder was unsure of his starting XI for the clash against Australia, saying he had to meet the medical team before deciding.

Stielike played down any pressure being on his team.

"Two teams already qualified so no big pressure," he said.

"I want to show good football for fans who come to stadium. We can see in statistics that Australia are a good team.

"But we will face tournament stage after tomorrow, we have to keep watching how our players would evolve."