Saturday , July 13 2024

Most fans don’t believe in Vietnam: coach Troussier

Vietnam football head coach Philippe Troussier said he is confident about the current Asian Cup squad with new young players although most fans might not believe in the team.

Coach Philippe Troussier at a press conference on Jan. 4, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Coach Philippe Troussier at a press conference on Jan. 4, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa

Troussier called up many players to the national team in December, including U23 and experienced key players.

During training, the medical team discovered some players with serious injuries that made them unable to play the Asian Cup. The team had to drop key players like goalkeeper Dang Van Lam, defenders Nguyen Thanh Trung, Que Ngoc Hai and Bui Tien Dung, along with midfielder Nguyen Hoang Duc and striker Nguyen Tien Linh.

This has affected the team’s confidence. However, Troussier said the missing players would not reduce the quality of the team, and he was not concerned about the pressures of public opinion.

“When I read the news and the comments, 80% of people don’t believe that Vietnam can succeed. The players know that too. I know that the fans might not like this player, that player or even me,” Troussier said at a press conference on Thursday, a day before the team left for Qatar.

“But I’m the current coach, not the previous coach. What happened in the past stayed there. The present is a mystery to Vietnamese football, no one knows what will happen. We need to hope for positive things.”

Troussier also affirmed that the team are united and he believes in them.

“Many people wished that Philippe Troussier would quit, many don’t believe in the team. But that only makes us stronger. I believe in the players, and they support me. Together, we will achieve the best result possible. I believe in them because they are giving their best every day. They are not stars, but together, in unity, we will try our best,” he added.

He addressed the injuries, pointing out that it also happened to other teams.

“Not only Vietnam but other teams also faced injuries. Japan missed Kaoru Mitoma, Thailand didn’t have Chanathip Songkrasin. In the past eight months, I have worked with 80 players, so that when someone is injured, we can find a worthy replacement,” he said.

“I don’t want people to look at the current squad and say that they are just second-tier players. To me, they are first-tier players and I want them to believe in themselves.”

The 68-year-old coach also mentioned his principle of selecting players based on their performance and qualities.

“I have a set of criteria including mentality, attitude, talent and versatility. If they are good, I don’t care about their age. I don’t give chances to young players, I give them to the best players. To me, there’s not a limit for age,” he said.

The 2023 Asian Cup finals will take place in Qatar from Jan. 12 to Feb. 10 with 24 participating teams, divided into six groups.

The top two teams of each group and the four third-place teams with the best records will qualify for the round of 16.

Vietnam are in Group D and will face Japan on Jan. 14, Indonesia on Jan. 19 and Iraq on Jan. 24.

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