Tuesday , December 12 2023

Job not done, challenges ahead: Thailand coach

Coach Alexandre Polking said everything is far from over and that Thailand are prepared for the second leg of the AFF Cup semifinal Sunday.

“We don’t have the time to train and only two days to rest. We have analyzed the first leg and hope to play better in the second. I know the job is not done. 2-0 is a dangerous score. Vietnam only need to score one goal and their spirit will go up. When that happens, everything will be really challenging. Our target is to avoid conceding. With the victory in the first leg, we have a great chance to enter the final,” Polking told a press conference Saturday.

Vietnam will need to score at least two goals Sunday to turn the tide, with Polking determined to prevent Vietnam from doing so.

“We have prepared many options. There will surely be changes because we are leading 2-0. They will have to play different. Their wings will have to go higher. They will also use a young defender to replace an injured Do Duy Manh, but their strategy will be the same. We will have to keep an eye on Nguyen Quang Hai.

“In the second half of the first leg, he moved to the center and played like a striker, which was really dangerous. But we have done our research and prepared well. We will not enter the game with a defensive approach to protect the 2-0 lead. That will be a serious mistake.”

Thailand will field their strongest squad for the second leg, while Vietnam will miss defender Duy Manh due to a shoulder injury in the first leg. In return, two previously injured defenders Bui Tien Dung and Tran Dinh Trong returned to training Friday.

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