Phượng needs more opportunities to play at level: coach Troussier

September 12, 2023 - 22:16
Nguyễn Công Phượng scored the opening goal for Việt Nam in the 61st minute, while Tuấn Hải secured the win in the 77th minute.


Striker Nguyễn Công Phượng celebrates his opening goal for Việt Nam. Photo

NAM ĐỊNH — Despite their contributions to Việt Nam's 2-0 victory against Palestine in the international friendly match held at Thiên Trường Stadium in Nam Định Province on Monday, coach Philippe Troussier expressed the belief that strikers Nguyễn Công Phượng and Nguyễn Văn Toàn still need to play more frequently at the club level.

Nguyễn Công Phượng scored the opening goal for Việt Nam in the 61st minute, while Tuấn Hải secured the win in the 77th minute.

"Even though Phượng scored a goal, in my opinion, his pressing effectiveness is not high due to the lack of regular playing experience," Troussier said after the match.

"Players like Phượng and Toàn, who play abroad, need to actively seek more opportunities to play regularly within a club environment. The style of play I implement requires players to always be energetic, especially when the team does not have possession of the ball."

Currently, Phượng plays for J1 League Club Yokohama FC, while Toàn plays for K League 2 Club Seoul E-Land.

The 2-0 victory over Palestine allowed coach Troussier to achieve a "hat trick of wins" in the three matches with the Vietnamese team. In the two previous friendly matches against Syria and China's Hong Kong, Việt Nam emerged victorious winning both by a goal to nil.

Troussier, expressed his gratitude for the friendly matches as they provided opportunities to experiment, not only in terms of personnel but also in how the Vietnamese team approaches matches.

The French coach said: "I always emphasise to my players the importance of proactive ball control and game management. I evaluate the players based on their mastery of fundamental professional aspects and their competitive spirit.

"However, as a team, we still need significant improvement in terms of ball control. I truly hope that during the next gathering in October, the integration between the national team and the U23 team will provide Việt Nam with the best players to aim for success in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers."

Preparing for the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers is also the objective of Makram Daboub, the head coach of Palestine.

He said: "Palestine implemented a high pressing strategy, but our defence exposed vulnerabilities, which Việt Nam successfully exploited twice. Overall, I believe Palestine played well and deserved at least a draw. We lost two players after the first half, and the high humidity in Việt Nam made it difficult for the players to maintain the pace of the game until the final minutes."

As planned, the Vietnamese team will commence their journey in the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers with two matches in November, facing the Philippines on November 16 and Iraq on November 21.

Before those games, coach Troussier and his team will also have a friendly match against Uzbekistan in October. VNS