Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Today’s friendly match against North Korea will be Việt Nam’s final test before the upcoming Asian Cup tournament next month, said coach Park Hang-seo of Việt Nam.
The South Korean manager said at a press briefing yesterday in Hà Nội that he would make some changes to his tactics compared with his approach to the AFF Cup
He said there would be some new formations to be used in the friendly, and that the Vietnamese side would try to avoid injuries.
"We will be missing the service of some key players in the Asian Cup,” said Park through an interpreter. “But it will be a chance for young players to show their talents. We will limit injuries and make it an interesting game for supporters."
"North Korea are a good team,” he said. “It should be an attractive match."
Midfielders Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng and Lục Xuân Hưng are recovering from injuries. If they cannot play, Park said, he would recall Trần Đình Trọng, who was planning to fly to South Korea for a small surgery.
"Trọng was in his peak at the AFF Cup,” said Park. “Despite his leg injury he still can play for the team and the surgery could be done later.”
Midfielder Lương Xuân Trường accompanied Park to the press conference. Trường was in the team that beat North Korea by a score of 5-2 in a friendly two years ago.
He said he was not at his best recently but was trying to find his form and secure a place in the starting team at the Asian Cup.
"In that match we conceded the first goal, but it was a friendly so we were playing with an easy mind and won 5-2," he said.
The coming match will be a chance for him to win the coach’s support.
"I will spend more time to improve my abilities and hope to play well at the Cup,” Trường said. “We are determined when we play Asian rivals."
On the other side, North Korean coach Kim Yong Jun said Việt Nam’s defenders and midfielders were sharp and strong.
"We just arrived in Việt Nam and have only one practice session on the field,” said Kim. “The match against Việt Nam – who just won the AFF Cup – will be a good test for my team. We aim for a berth in the Asian Cup’s quarter-finals.”
North Korea are in Group E of the tournament in the United Arab Emirates with Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Qatar.
Kim has called up Ri Dong Jik, who is playing for Tokyo Verdy in Japan, and Pak Kwang Ryong of SKN St. Polten in Austria for the competition.
Việt Nam, who just welcomed a new fitness coach, are in Group D with Iraq, Iran and Yemen. — VNS