|Coach Trương Việt Hoàng on his first day working with HCM City on August 23. Hoàng says it's his responsibility to lift the team up in the second period of the V.League 1. Photo of HCM City FC|
HÀ NỘI — Coach Trương Việt Hoàng officially took charge of HCM City FC on Tuesday and said the number one target is V.League 1 survival.
Hoàng, who was honoured on Monday by his former club, Viettel, for contributions to their first team and the youth squads in three years, replaced coach Trần Minh Chiến.
Chiến switched to be the team's technical director after HCM City's poor performance recently, which pushed them to near the bottom of the table.
After the first period of the national premier league, HCM City are in 11th place with just 12 points after 12 matches. They have five points more than the bottom of the table Sài Gòn FC.
On his first day with the new players including overseas Vietnamese Lee Nguyen, Hoàng said: "HCM City were not lucky in the first period. This is a team with quality players who suffered defeats despite performing pretty well.
"In my opinion, the key strengths are our spirit and playing style. A win over Sài Gòn FC last week will be a strong lift for the whole team.
"I come to HCM City not to save the club but help them play better in the next period. The coaching board and I have talked about our playing style and working hard for positive results. We are in a difficult situation so our target is to stay with the V.League 1."
The 47-year-old believes that midfielder Nguyen, back in the team early this month, will be one of the core players of the team who will take charge of lifting HCM City up.
"Lee Nguyễn is a good player who has great ball managing skills," said Hoàng.
"He is really important in my line-up. Apart from him, we also have two large, strong, and dynamic strikers. I will work with the front line to make sure that they will not miss goal-scoring opportunities anymore."
The former national midfielder will have his first match with the new team on August 26 against Hải Phòng FC at Lạch Tray Stadium. He expects to bring at least one point home.
"Hải Phòng are flying high. They place third in the table and always receive great support from home fans. I hope to have one point at Lạch Tray," said Hoàng who managed Hải Phòng between 2014-19.
Hoàng is the fourth coach to lead HCM City under the chairmanship of Thắng, after Chung Hae-seong, Alexandre Polking and Chiến.
He is the ninth manager of the team since they joined the V.League 1 in 2014, not including the two times that President Nguyễn Hữu Thắng temporally took charge.
Their contract will last till the end of 2022 and the two sides will sit to talk about the future if HCM City can stay at the V.League 1.
Hoàng, who is regarded as a defensive-minded coach, did lead Viettel to win the V.League 1 in 2020 and help Hải Phòng to finish second in the 2016 season. He is experienced in coaching teams in the national top flight, especially teams that don't have many stars. VNS