Vietnam will select the most in-form players for World Cup qualifying, says coach Park

Sunday, 2021-05-30 09:40:24
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Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo speaks during the interview on May 28. (Photo: VFF)
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NDO – Despite some cases of injury and the promotion of many U22 players, Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo still expressed his belief that he will choose a squad of the most in-form players for the remaining second-round campaign of the 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers.

The Vietnamese team are actively training in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before playing their last three Group G matches against Indonesia, Malaysia and the UAE next month.

In a short interview granted to the media ahead of their evening training session on May 28, Park stated that the absence of Do Hung Dung (wounded when playing for Hanoi FC in V.League 1-2021) has caused tactical difficulties and losses for Vietnam in midfield. However, Vietnam still have many options with the addition of new faces Nguyen Hoang Duc and Nguyen Hai Long, as well as popular names such as Nguyen Tuan Anh, Luong Xuan Truong and Nguyen Quang Hai.

“Introducing different options in terms of playing style is the most important thing at the moment, and the players need time to fully grasp and get acquainted with it. We have to make those choices to build different scenarios and apply them in the different periods of time,” the Korean tactician said.

He added that most of the exercises in the past few days were aimed at reviving the players’ physical fitness and facilitating their adaptability to the density of playing a game every four days. Park is also using a dedicated GPS device to monitor and evaluate the players’ movement during training sessions.

In the current Vietnamese squad, there are six players of the U22 age group. Assessing their opportunities, Park said: “It is unlikely to foresee how those players will perform. Maybe they will make the final 23-player list, and maybe not. In the next three matches, we just plan to strive for as much as we can.”

When asked about the team’s difficulties amidst the complicated COVID-19 developments, the Korean tactician stated that they do not face remarkable hardships as the entire team had practised and lived in an environment of limited communication with the outside right from the time in Vietnam due to the pandemic. “I would like to thank the players for preparing well mentally to overcome such difficulty. Their psychology is now much better,” he said.

Park also revealed that the Vietnamese squad currently have no cases of serious injuries.

Goalkeeper Dang Van Lam will miss Vietnam's World Cup qualifying matches in the UAE. (Photo: VFF)

Regarding the case of goalkeeper Dang Van Lam, who is playing for the J1 League club Cerezo Osaka, the coaching staff decided not to summon him for Vietnam’s World Cup qualifying mission in the UAE following thorough considerations based on Vietnamese health agencies’ instructions on COVID-19 prevention and control. The decision came after another goalie at Cerezo Osaka was reported to have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.

As scheduled, Vietnam will play a friendly match against Jordan in the UAE on May 31 before entering their three World Cup qualifying matches against Indonesia, Malaysia and the UAE on June 7, 11 and 15, respectively.