Vietnam coach Nguyen Huu Thang: We can’t underestimate Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar or Singapore

By Nhan Doan

Vietnam Under-22 head coach Nguyen Huu Thang is indifferent to the recent change of the drawing rule in the upcoming football event at 2017 Southeast Asian Games.

Coach Thang said he is more concern with the team’s performance in the upcoming tournament regardless of the drawing result.

“The change of the drawing rule gives Vietnam and the remaining competitors a slight advantage. However, I am more concern about the team’s performance rather than which group the team is heading to,” Thang said in an interview with VnExpress.

The ruling is amended after teams protest the initial format, which heavily favors the host, Malaysia. The host is allowed to handpick the group after all of the competitors have been drawn to their respective groups, all but bailing the host from being in the “Group of Death.”

Malaysia will be seeded as No.1 along with favorite and title holder, Thailand. The remaining teams will be seeded based on their result in the previous tournament. Vietnam is the No.2 seed, along with Myanmar, the reigning runner-up.

“Title holders Thailand, the host Malaysia, Myanmar and Singapore are strong teams,” Thang said. “We can’t underestimate any of them.”

Under-22 Vietnam has started its training camp Monday to prepare for the AFC Under-23 qualification, which commences on July 19 in Ho Chi Minh City. All players have arrived except Luong Xuan Truong, who hasn’t allowed to leave Gangwon to train with the national team.

Coach Thang said Vietnam is looking to reach the final of the regional tournament.