Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh are expected to shine in this year’s football season under coach Phạm Minh Đức. — Photo soha.vn
HÀ NỘI — After a successful 2020 season, Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh have set their sights on a top-six finished in the V.League 1 this year under coach Phạm Minh Đức.
Đức, 44, led the team to a surprising top-eight finish in their first season in the top-flight league
"I am very fond of the fighting spirit of Hà Tĩnh players under young coach Đức who has a special personality with the spirit of respect for the rules of the match,” said pundit Đoàn Minh Xương.
“Hà Tĩnh had no stars, but they were always a very strong opponent because of their good discipline in play. Đức himself infused his players with a strong will and effort in every match,” Xương added.
The league last year was postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic and some top football figures called for the season to be scrapped, but Đức never waivered.
“Personally, I appreciate Đức’s ability to lead the team, more importantly, he always respects the rules and teach his players to play fair,” said Xương.
Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh players train to prepare for the upcoming matches. — Photo baohatinh.vn
Đức loved football since he was a small boy in Hà Đông town in the western district of Hà Nội. He quickly impressed with his agility, skill, bravery and particularly his sense of fair play.
Following his talent, Đức soon became a part of the Hà Nội Public Security Club and emerged as one of the best defenders in Vietnamese football.
Đức then played for Hoàng Anh Gia Lai (HAGL), Quảng Nam, Thể Công, Bình Dương and Hà Nội T&T. He won five V.League 1 championships with three different teams: HAGL, Bình Dương and Hà Nội T&T.
In 2016, Đức was named Hà Nội T&T head coach replacing Phan Thanh Hùng. However, after a series of poor results, he resigned, ceding his position to his assistant Chu Đình Nghiêm.
After that, he coached Hà Nội B team (now Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh).
In the V.League 2 in 2018, Hà Nội B ranked second after 18 matches. Following that season, Hà Nội B changed their name to Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh.
In the 2019 season, the team topped the V.League 2 with 53 points, 13 points higher than the second-ranked team, Phố Hiến, and won a spot in the V.League 1 for 2020.
Phạm Minh Đức led U21 Hà Nội T&T to triumph in the National U21 Football Championship 2015. — Photo tinhdoandaklak.gov.vn
Although Hà Tĩnh lost to Quảng Ninh in the first match of this season on Sunday, they still have bags of confidence.
“I will tighten discipline, but at the same time trust my players. I also tell them that they always have to strive and results will come. My players have tried and matured through each match. We always have meetings and fix each other during training sessions,” Đức said.
“I understand young players and give them the confidence to improve. For me, a young player who plays enthusiastically is more valuable than an experienced player who does not use all of his experience. With a famous player who does not comply with the coach's tactics, the coach has no value in that match.
“My players are rarely mentally challenged. They are still young, so their thinking and techniques maybe are a little hasty. However, mentally, Hà Tĩnh are not afraid of any opponents, whether they play in the V.League 2 or V.League 1. VNS