National team in training ahead of AFC challenge

Update: October, 22/2014 - 08:22
Gruelling: Viet Nam's national football team train in the southern province of Binh Duong. — Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — The Japanese coach of Viet Nam's national football team, Toshyia Miura, says that fitness and tactics will be his priorities in a 10-day training camp in the southern province of Binh Duong.

The training is part of the team's preparation for the Southeast Asian Football (AFF) Championships, which will take place next month. Viet Nam will co-host with Singapore.

"We will work on fitness, discipline and tactics. I also want to check the individual quality so I can choose the best players for the final squad," Miura told reporters after he and his players ended a gruelling training period under a heavy rain one afternoon in Go Dau Stadium.

Miura called up a strong team of 30 players for the training camp with three new faces added to the team, which lost two games and won one in three friendly matches during a 20-day training period in Japan early this month.

Miura said the team would be served well by the players and their attitude.

He also has Fujimoto Hiroo, also Japanese, as his fitness coach.

"Hiroo will take care of injuries and rehabilitation, taping and massage," Miura said.

The task ahead for Miura will be huge as a good result is demanded at the AFF Cup, which would help revive fans' faith in Vietnamese football, which has had poor results in recent years.

After winning the regional competition in 2008, Viet Nam's performance at the region's biggest football tournament is on the decline. In 2010, it reached the semi-finals and was eliminated from the group stage in 2012.

This year Viet Nam was drawn in Group A along with Indonesia, Laos and the Philippines.

While Indonesia is always a tough opponent, the Philippines and Laos are capable of troubling Viet Nam, given their recent progress.

For the first time, Viet Nam lost 1-0 to the Philippines two years ago as it failed to make the last four for only the second time.

Miura said he did not want to talk much about the group matches as he refused to comment on the opponents.

"You never know what will happen in the future," Miura said.

Group B, which is played in Singapore, includes Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand. — VNS