VN coach wants to see his players jell

November 08, 2016 - 08:00

Coach wants to see players’ understanding, combination at friendly

Vietnamese players competing on the field. Việt Nam will play Indonesia in a friendly match today at Mỹ Đình Stadium. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI —Việt Nam needs to impose its playing style on Indonesia and the team should show how they cooperate with each other, Coach Nguyễn Hữu Thắng said yesterday.

In a press conference ahead of the friendly match to be played tonight at Hà Nội’s Mỹ Đình Stadium, he said: “In our first match last month we drew 2-2. We learnt lessons, especially defence, from that game where we played under the pressure of more than 30,000 spectators.

“My players faced and overcame that challenge well. Indonesia is a team of physical players who play pressing very well. Their style is different from ours… So in this match I do not care about the result, I want to see how players manage the game and how they work with each other and play a good match,” said Thắng.

Midfielder Ngô Hoàng Thịnh will have to be rested for the match as he has a stretched ligament. Another midfielder Nguyễn Tuấn Anh, a crowd favourite, may sit next to him as he has some knee pain. However, Thắng said it was not a big problem and both players are expected to be okay ahead of the ASEAN Football Federation Cup.

His most important task was how to make players reach their peak at the Cup later this month.

At the meeting yesterday, Thắng had high praise for Indonesia’s head coach Alfred Riedl, who was the manager of Việt Nam twice (1998-2001 and 2005-2007).

“Among foreign coaches, Riedl is whom I respect the most. He was a Europe-level player who won the Bronze Shoe in 1975. He is a coach with great character and aptitude. I must thank him for what he did during his time with Việt Nam when I was a member of the national team,” Thắng said.

Talking about the match, Riedl, who is Austrian, said he has not been following Vietnamese football for some time, so he could not value Thắng’s work, but the team looks like a well-organised squad with talented players.

The match would be difficult for Indonesia but a good experience for both two sides who have set high targets for themselves at the AFF Cup, he said.

Riedl said Việt Nam was his favourite rival. He said the team had well-trained, skilful players with an effective playing style. The Vietnamese team was at a higher level than when he was here, he said.

“Hope that with a little luck Việt Nam can champion the Cup for the second time,” he added.

Indonesia are coming to Việt Nam after a goalless draw against Myanmar, also a friendly in preparation for the AFF Cup.

Riedl has brought with him some of the strongest players, including some who play abroad. These include Stefano Janjte Lilipaly of Telstar FC and former member of the Netherlands’ U18 squad, Irfan Haarys Bachdim, the ‘Beckham of Indonesia’, who plays for Consadole Sapporo FC in Japan and Andik Vermansah, ‘Indonesian Messi,’ who plays for Selangor FC in Malaysia.

The friendly will begin at 7pm and aired live on VTV6.

For the upcoming November 19-December 17 AFC Cup, Indonesia are in Group A with reigning champions Thailand, Singapore and co-host Philippines.

Reidl said he expects his team to make the semi-finals, although Indonesia has only 80 per cent of its power.

Riedl said there were many talented players in Indonesia, but the local federation allows him to only two players from each club. And the players have only trained for four months together.

However, he was not feeling negative, because all his best players were on hand, Riedl added.

Việt Nam are in Group B with Cambodia, Malaysia and co-host Myanmar. — VNS