The Chinese Super League champions produced an impressive performance and got the win in the opening Asian Champions League group match thanks to a 52nd minute goal from Australian striker Joel Griffiths but it could have easily been more as new Brazilian forward Erivaldo (Otto) performed brilliantly and Scottish defender Maurice Ross looked as though he had been in the team for years, not three weeks.
“The new players basically lived up to my expectations,” Hong said. “Although they still have room to improve in the team.
“Ross is worth our trust and his performance in the attack was also good today. We need him to send more well-placed passes in future.
“Otto was a constant threat to the opposing defence. However, he still needs to improve. If he didn’t have so much possession today, we could have created more scoring chances.”
Hong was also impressed with the performance of former Newcastle Jets talisman Griffiths who was basically the difference on the night.
“I requested Joel to move back a little bit during the break,” added Hong. “The adjustment paid off dividends later on. I am really satisfied with Joel’s second-half performance.”