Jeonbuk Hyundai midfielder Amano Jun, who has been improving his form since returning from injury, has spoken of his determination ahead of the team’s upcoming derby against his hometown team, Ulsan Hyundai.

Jeonbuk drew 1-1 with Suwon Samseong in the 26th round of the Hana OneQ K League 2023 at Jeonju World Cup Stadium on Wednesday, with Han Ho-gang and Han Kyowon exchanging goals.

Jeonbuk remained in third place with 41 points (12 wins, 5 draws, 9 losses) and closed the gap on second-place Pohang (45 points) to four points. However, it was disappointing to see their home winning streak come to an end at eight games.

Jun Amano came on as a substitute in the 40th minute to revitalize the team’s offense. His 13 minutes on the pitch was a welcome return to action after coming on as a substitute in the 24th round against Pohang before the break.

Amano has been plagued by injuries this season and hasn’t played much. He currently has one goal and three assists in 14 games and 816 minutes in the K League One.

“Suwon has been playing good soccer since the change of coach, and I’ve been watching the game very warmly,” Amano said in the post-match interview.

“I’ve had a lot of injuries this year, so by the time I return from injury and improve my physical condition, I get injured again and again. It’s been a bit of a struggle, but I’m finally back to 100 percent now. I think it’s time for me to show my performance on the field,” he said.

He added: “There were no injuries today. I had 10 minutes today and I was thinking about what I can do for the team. I had to go in there and make sure we won, but it didn’t work out, so I’m going to have to work a little bit harder and train a little bit harder.”

When asked if anything has changed since Petrescu’s arrival, Amano said, “Coach Petrescu is very aggressive and doesn’t care what position I play, he keeps playing me in my best position, so I just need to show it with my performance.”

Amano played for Ulsan until last season, when he helped the club win its first league title in 17 years. Prior to this season, Amano had a falling out with Ulsan when he moved to Jeonbuk on loan. In the opening round against Ulsan, Amano started and was consistently booed by Ulsan fans.

Now, Amano is back in the lineup for the Hyundai Derby against Ulsan. The derby between Ulsan and Jeonbuk will take place on April 19 at 7 p.m. at Munsu Stadium in Ulsan. 꽁머니

“First of all, I know Ulsan’s strengths and weaknesses very well, and personally, I’m the type of player who would rather hear the boos from the crowd, so I’m always happy to hear them. Now, I will definitely go to the stadium next week and try to play well and help the team win.”