Vietnam determined to secure place in 2020 AFC U23 finals

Thursday, 2019-03-21 17:30:58
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Vietnam U23s head coach Park Hang-seo addresses a press conference ahead of the Group K qualifying matches for the 2020 AFC U23 Championship in Hanoi on March 21.
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NDO – Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo affirmed his side’s top goal of booking a place in the 2020 AFC U23 Championship finals during a press briefing ahead of the Group K qualification matches in Hanoi on March 21.

“Vietnam U23s will head into the tournament with the highest determination to earn a ticket to the final competition. All the four teams are from the Southeast Asian region, so they will fight with high spirits. This will be a difficulty for us to overcome,” the Republic of Korea (RoK) tactician told the media.

He admitted that the Vietnam U23 team’s convening process was affected by the AFC Cup schedule, but emphasised that he and his players would strive to achieve the best possible results.

“Some Hanoi FC players had to take several days off during our training for the AFC U23 campaign to play at the 2019 AFC Cup, which somewhat influenced the quality of training sessions. However, I believe that Vietnam U23s will win the expected results”.

Park said that his Vietnamese side is suffering from huge pressure after the glorious feat they attained at the 2018 championship. He reminded the players to forget their past achievements in order to focus on the current goal.

“Obviously we are the reigning Asian U23 runners-up, but everything is already in the past and now we have to focus on the present. We need to forget the matches in Changzhou, China”.

The RoK coach also admitted that Vietnam’s current U23s generation have better physique but poorer international experience, qualification and form, in comparison with the generation of players who finished second overall in last year’s tournament.

Vietnam head coach Park Hang-seo (left) and the coaches of Indonesia U23s, Thailand U23s and Brunei U23s (from left to right) at the press conference.

Park rejected the idea that leading Vietnamese midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai is not in good form at the present time.

“I disagree with the views that Quang Hai’s current form is not good. I do not dare to comment on the way Quang Hai is being used at club level. But as you can see, from last year to date, Quang Hai has had to play with an extremely tight schedule at both the national and club levels, so he is also tired now”.

“"I hope the media evaluate Quang Hai from another point of view. The players who attend the tournaments are very tired, but they still try to do their best to keep their image with the fans,” Park stated.

Meanwhile, speaking to the media, Brunei U23s head coach Mohamd Darus Bin Tanjong said he had joined his assistants and players to carefully study their three opponents in Group K, affirming that the Brunei team have made their best preparations for the upcoming matches.

Park Hang-seo and Vietnam U23s will start their hunt for a place in the 2020 AFC U23 finals with a clash against Brunei U23s on March 22, before taking on Indonesia U23s and Thailand U23s on March 24 and 26, respectively. All of the Group K matches will be held at Hanoi’s My Dinh National Stadium.