MX23RW : Wednesday, January 16 00:13:16

Son Heung-min sad to leave Tottenham for Asian Cup with South Korea

Son Heung-min sad to leave Tottenham for Asian Cup with South Korea
© Reuters
The South Korea forward has scored eight goals in his last nine appearances.

Son Heung-min admits he is sad to be leaving Tottenham's trophy chase to play at the Asian Cup.

The South Korea forward has been in tremendous form and scored his eighth goal in nine games as Spurs reclaimed second spot in the Premier League with a 3-0 New Year's Day win at Cardiff.

But Son will head for international duty after Tottenham's league game against Manchester United on January 13, and could miss up to five matches because of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

"Of course I feel very sorry because I miss already in September," said Son, referring to his involvement for South Korea at the Asian Games earlier this season.

"I feel sorry for my team-mates, the fans and the coaching staff. It's difficult.

"Sometimes you think it's a bit sad, but it is also important for my country.

"I hope I can keep my form for the national team and when I come back here again as well."

Should tournament favourites South Korea reach the Asian Cup final in Abu Dhabi on February 1, Son could potentially miss five league and cup games for Spurs.

This would include league games against Fulham, Watford and Newcastle, as well as the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final tie with Chelsea.

Tottenham's concern will be that Son was sluggish after he played at the Asian Games, a tournament which South Korea won.

It was only after Son had a break from international duty in November that he found the form which has seen him become one of the hottest properties in the Premier League.

"I was tired after the Asian Games because in that tournament it was playing after (every) two or three days," Son said.

"It is very important to be right mentally at the Asian Cup and to come back with a strong mind and be strong physically.

"It (November) was a turning point for me because I was tired and I didn't travel.

"It was good to have this time, some days off, and hard sessions with the team. But the Asian Cup is big for us because we have not won it for 59 years."

"I'm going there not just to enjoy it, I am going there to win something and come back with confidence."

Tottenham's win completed the double over Cardiff after their 1-0 victory at Wembley in October.

Cardiff are battling against relegation and boss Neil Warnock feels Spurs should be forced to play at Wembley for the rest of the season not to give their rivals an advantage.

Spurs were due to move into their new White Hart Lane stadium in September, but the project has suffered construction delays.

Cardiff City v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – Cardiff City Stadium
Neil Warnock feels Tottenham should play at Wembley for the rest of the season to ensure Cardiff's relegation rivals do not get an advantage (Mark Kerton/PA)

"The league should enforce they play at Wembley for the rest of the season," Warnock said. "There shouldn't be any chance of an advantage for our opponents.

"It's not our fault – we should have been playing at the new stadium ourselves.

"I think they should step in now and rather than seven or six weeks, they should make it until the end of the season now and enforce it now."


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Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino pictured on December 29, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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