Coach Hoang Anh Tuan: “U23 Vietnam still needs to make more changes.”

In a press conference following U23 Vietnam’s 3-1 victory over U23 Kuwait at the U23 Asian Cup 2024, Coach Hoang Anh Tuan shared mixed feelings about his team’s performance.Despite the win, Coach Tuan emphasized that the team struggled with their mental game, particularly in the first half.

Coach Tuan noted: “I am only satisfied with the result today. If you watched the game, you would know that in the first half, our players were mentally affected, which prevented them from showcasing their true capabilities. They faced many difficulties and were under significant psychological pressure, which was evident from the red card at the end of the first half. I am not pleased at all.”

He continued, addressing the need for a psychological reset, “The first thing I told my players was to forget this match and focus all their mental and spiritual energy on the upcoming game against U23 Malaysia in three days.”

During the halftime break, Coach Tuan motivated his team by reminding them of their capabilities. “I told them that the opponent had nothing special, that we were not playing up to our potential. I urged them to return to everything we’ve practiced.”

The adjustments seemed to work as the team displayed a more proactive approach in the second half. Coach Tuan praised the performance of Bui Vi Hao, who scored twice, acknowledging his decision to play Hao was a gamble given the red cards and high stakes. “Bui Vi Hao has unique qualities to handle the final situations that his teammates couldn’t in the first half,” Tuan said.

Reflecting on the broader implications of the win and his short tenure so far, Coach Tuan remarked, “Today’s victory shows the capability difference between the two teams. Honestly, I’ve only been with the U23 Vietnam team for 10 days. Comprehensive changes are challenging without more time. From now until the end of the tournament, you will likely see more clear changes. For a match like today’s, it’s hard to specify exactly how U23 Vietnam has changed.”

The victory sets a positive tone for Vietnam’s campaign, but Coach Tuan remains focused on the need for continuous improvement and mental fortitude as the tournament progresses.

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