South Korea national team boss Cho Kwang-rae believes the absence of Celtic midfielder Ki Sung-yeung attributed to the recent World Cup qualifying loss to Lebanon.
The Taeguk Warriors were surprisingly beaten 2-1 in Beirut by the 146th-ranked Lebanese on Tuesday and Cho feels that Ki, who was sidelined with illness, will be back to lead the team to victory against Kuwait on February 29.
"I think you have to say losing Ki for the Lebanon game was a major reason why we lost," said Cho, whose side now need at least a draw against the Kuwaitis to progress to the nest stage of qualification.
"He is a very important player for us and that is why we insisted he travel in case there was a chance he could play.
"It was very unfortunate he was sick and you will see a big difference and big improvement in us when he returns.
"He is at the centre of our team."