Vietnam need to return to humble beginning: coach Park

By Lam Thoa   January 6, 2022 | 06:08 pm PT
Vietnam need to return to humble beginning: coach Park
Head coach Park Hang-seo gives instruction to the Vietnam players in an AFF Cup match against Malaysia in December 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
Head coach Park Hang-seo talked about changes and direction of the national football team post-AFF Cup on Thursday.

"On the first day of the new year, we have taken a look back at the journey in 2021. There were many challenges that we had to face as a team. While we have managed to overcome some challenges, there were problems that were really difficult to solve."

Covid-19 restrictions have forced the players to stay inside for a long time and this affected their mentality so much.

"Many people said we didn’t have the motivation, competitiveness and passion to maintain the successful run from 2018 and achieve higher results," Park told Vietnam Football Federation.

Therefore, the South Korean coach said it’s time for the team to reboot.

"We need to return to 2018, which means we will go back to a humble beginning but with big dreams and desires. Return to day one for a fresh start is the best lesson for the national team. The coaching board, including me and all the people involved, need to have a new mindset that heads toward the same goal for a successful 2022," Park added.

On Monday, Park announced the first change to the national team and decided to let another player wear the captain armband instead of Que Ngoc Hai, who has been the team captain for the past three years. Also, Pham Duc Huy and Luong Xuan Truong are no longer vice-captains.

"Que Ngoc Hai has been the captain for three years. But now, the coaching board wants to take the pressure off him so he can focus on performing his best on the field. After the last training session of the team Monday, I had a genuine talk with the captain and vice-captains. We all agreed that a new atmosphere is necessary to create new motivation and return to where we started with a beginner attitude," Park said.

The team will return to training on Jan. 13 to prepare for the matches against Australia (Jan. 27) and China (Feb. 1) in the final round of World Cup qualifiers. Park plans to call up many new players to increase competition in the team.

Park is the most successful coach in the history of Vietnamese football. Since he arrived in late 2017, Vietnam have won second place of AFC U23 Championship 2018, advanced to the semifinals of Asian Games 2018, won the 2018 AFF Cup, advanced to the quarterfinals of Asian Cup 2019, and made it to the final round of World Cup 2022 qualifiers. Recently, he extended his contract to coach Vietnam until Jan. 31, 2023.

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