Vietnam to make every effort in each match at AFF Suzuki Cup 2020: coach Park

Saturday, 2021-12-04 19:05:45
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Coach Park Hang-seo speaks at a press conference in Singapore, December 4, 2021. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)
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NDO – Vietnam’s head coach Park Hang-seo has reiterated the team’s determination to achieve the best results in each match at the upcoming ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup 2020.

Speaking at a press conference before the group stage of the biennial football competition in Singapore on December 4, Park acknowledged the pressures facing the Vietnamese team as the defending champions.

The Korean strategist also admitted that his team are not in a good mood after losing all six matches at the final Asian qualifying round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

“In football it is impossible to predict the results, but the Vietnamese team will try their best to achieve the best results in each match,” he stated.

"In the World Cup Qualifiers, the other teams’ levels were much higher than Vietnam. We lost, but we also had many good points, especially always showing the spirit of not giving up. Even though we're playing against strong teams, it's clear that we've improved game by game and are starting to know how to face such opponents," Park added.

In response to the question when returning to play in the regional arena, whether the Vietnamese team will change their play style, such as attacking more, Park briefly said: "This will possibly be shown in the upcoming matches."

Talking about the absence of key midfielder Do Hung Dung, who has just come back after a 7-month injury, as he was not allowed to enter Singapore, Park said Dung was injured and had spent a long time without playing. Therefore, the summoning of Hanoi FC player is mainly to help this midfielder gradually resume his form again, not to wait on him to help the team play well. Therefore, the absence of Hung Dung is not a big problem for the Vietnamese team.

The tournament takes place amid the COVID-19 pandemic is still having complicated developments, forcing the host nation Singapore to strengthen the strict epidemic prevention measures. Sharing about this, Park said: "Due to the travel restrictions imposed by the organisers, teams can only move from their hotels to the training fields and competing venues. As a result, there is a little bit of mental pressure on the players. However, to ensure safety against the epidemic, we need to adapt to conditions like this.”

Coach Park Hang-seo and his Vietnamese players during a training camp in Singapore on December 3, 2021. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation)

“This morning, I had a talk with the players. Compared to physical fatigue, I think the pressure from mental fatigue is much greater. Not only are we limited in travel, but we also have difficulty in daily meals. We must overcome those difficulties as wisely as possible. We have to try to think positively.”

Regarding to the Group B opening match against the Laos team on December 6, Park said: "The first match is always with a lot of pressure. We also do not have much information about the Lao team. We just know that we will do our best in this match.”

The AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 will kick off on December 5 following a year's delay due to the pandemic.

Defending champions Vietnam have been drawn into Group B together with Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos. Group A is made up of Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore and Timor-Leste.

In the group stage, the 10 participating teams will play in a round robin tournament to determine the top two teams from each group, who will advance to the two-legged semi-finals.

The semi-finals will be played on a home-and-away basis, with the first leg scheduled for December 22-23, 2021, and the return leg slated for December 25-26.

The two winners of the semi-finals will battle it out in a two-legged final to decide the overall champions – with the first leg to commence on December 29, 2021, and the second leg on January 1, 2022.

The Golden Star Warriors will kick-start their campaign with a clash against Laos on December 6, before taking on Malaysia, Indonesia and Cambodia on December 12, 15 and 19, respectively.