Coach Park Hang-seo admitted the pressure is on the players but is positive about Vietnam’s gold medal chance at SEA Games 31.
“This SEA Games is hosted in Vietnam and we are the defending gold medalists. The home supporters have so many expectations of the team. Therefore, the players are under a bit of pressure, but I believe they can bring joy to the fans and will try their best.
“At the moment, the team are well-prepared, physically and mentally,” Park said in a press conference Thursday.
Compared to the squad that won the gold medal in SEA Games 2019, Vietnam don’t have that many stars this time, but their target is still nothing else but gold. For Park, SEA Games 31 will be his last tournament as head coach of the national team.
“I will work with the highest level of mentality and responsibility, in order to bring joy to Vietnam’s football fans,” he said.
The first group stage game on Friday with Indonesia is considered an important power test for Vietnam. In the SEA Games 2019 final, Vietnam won 3-0 against Indonesia in the final to win gold.
“Compared to the encounter three years ago, Indonesia have changed and got significantly stronger. They have a new coach, a more experienced team with many players who competed in AFF Cup last year and those who are playing abroad too. But of course, these changes will come with great pressure, which Indonesia will have to endure during this SEA Games,” Park added.
Indonesia brought 20 players to SEA Games 31, with 12 playing in AFF Cup last year, where they were the runners-up. Their usual playing style is defensive, sometimes to an extreme level. Park affirmed that Vietnam are ready to deal with that strategy if Indonesia use it in the game on Friday.
“We don’t know what tactics Indonesia would use. But Vietnam always prepare many plans to deal with any situation and any strategy,” Park said.
“I will try my best to defeat Indonesia tomorrow,” he added.
The Vietnam and Indonesia match will take place in the northern province of Phu Tho at 7 p.m. Friday and will be reported live by VnExpress International.
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