Vietnamese football is being strongly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, bud head coach Park Hang-seo and his assistants aren't waiting around for the outbreak to end.
|Coach Park Hang-seo looks at new tactics for the Vietnam team. (Photo VFF)
The national team has two important goals this year, the 2022 World Cup qualifiers and defending the AFF Cup.
“My assistants and I are working together everyday. We've reviewed match videos and analysed each player in detail to optimise their performances,” said the Korean coach.
“At present, Vietnam have a lot of good midfielders and we need to use this strength to develop different tactics so the team is ready for different rivals,” Park added.
Vietnam have three more games in the World Cup qualifiers. They will meet Malaysia on October 13 at Bukit Jalil Stadium. They will then take on Indonesia on November 12 at My Dinh National Stadium and finally face the UAE at Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium.
They were scheduled to meet Malaysia on March 31, but the game was delayed due to the spread of COVID-19.
According to Park, the delay will give Malaysia more time to complete the naturalisation of their fourth player foreign.
However, he said he didn't care about that, and his only focus was on his team. "We need plans to improve the team during this break,” he explained.
Vietnam currently lead their World Cup qualifying Group G on 11 points after five matches, followed by Malaysia (nine points), Thailand (eight points), UAE (six points) and Indonesia (0 points).
Park said the upcoming match with Malaysia will be very important for his team.
“The match with Malaysia is the most important. They are strong and will play at home. If we win against Malaysia, we will maintain first place and open the door to the final qualifying round. We will make every effort to beat Malaysia,” said Park.
The coach also emphasised that it is time for the Vietnamese team to change and adapt to new situations, especially now their opponents understand the team's playing style.
Now we are looking at solutions to improve the existing tactics, as well as prepare new tactics which are suitable for existing players.
The players will have to adapt to the new tactics and the change will help them raise their level,” said Park.
Another difficulty for the national team is that many key players are injured. Park hopes they will recover after the COVID-19 outbreak.
“An injured player is unlucky but we can prevent and limit injuries. I think that clubs need to focus more on their medical staff. Players need specific treatment. It is very important and will help players avoid serious injuries that sideline them for a long time,” said the coach.
“We are considering their replacements. Of course, there is no perfect answer but we will find solutions for the national team,” Park added.