Viettel celebrate their win against Bình Dương in the V.League 1 on Monday. Photo dantri.com.vn
HÀ NỘI — Viettel FC coach Trương Việt Hoàng has said his players are playing better than his generation who won the national title with Thể Công in 1998.
On Monday, Viettel beat Becamex Bình Dương 1-0 to stretch their lead at the top of the V.League 1 table thanks to Brazilian striker Bruno Cunha Cantanhede's penalty.
In the 1998 V.League 1, Thể Công (the previous name of Viettel FC), were crowned the champions with an impressive 47 points after 26 matches. Coach Hoàng was a member of Thể Công squad at that time.
Hoàng praised his students when he was asked to compare them with the 1998 vintage.
"It is very difficult to compare Viettel in 2020 with Thể Công in 1998. I think Viettel now have better conditions, play with foreign players and are cared for and practice more scientifically,” said Hoàng.
"In my generation, the most important and decisive thing was the skills and expertise of the players. Now, young players are in touch with international football and develop faster. In comparison, I think the current Viettel club play better than Thể Công in 1998,” Hoàng added.
Regarding the title race, Hoàng said the championship was what he always aims for, but he and the players wouldn't get ahead of themselves and would take it one game at a time.
Meanwhile, coach Nguyễn Thanh Sơn of Bình Dương said the quality of the match was poor.
"In this match, I took the initiative to give young players a chance to play. It's not that we gave up. In fact, the young players played quite well against Viettel who lead the rankings. I think, we will play better in the next games,” said Sơn.
Sơn, a former national team assistant, also shared the team's goal this season to finish fourth or fifth.
Sơn said that the rest of the season will be very attractive with Sài Gòn FC, Hà Nội FC and Viettel fighting for the title. He tipped one of the two capital sides to win the championship over Sài Gòn who drew goalless with HCM City FC on Monday.
Coach and president Vũ Tiến Thành of Sài Gòn said he was not satisfied with the draw.
"If we want to vie for the championship, we have to win this match. But admittedly, after the COVID-19 pandemic, we were in a bad shape. We will try to prepare for the upcoming matches better,” said Thành.
Meanwhile, coach Chung Hae-seong of HCM City said the draw was not too bad because his team had three consecutive losses before.
"We had a lot of difficulties today. The team lost three games in a row and many players were injured. Maybe this result is not great but we had a draw after three defeats. This gives us more confidence in the remaining matches of the tournament,” said the South Korean. — VNS