Tuesday, 16/11/2021 09:19

Coach Park defends underperforming Văn Đức before Saudi Arabia clash

“Everything will pass by. Family is all,” Phan Văn Đức (20) posted on his personal media account after the disappointing match against Japan where the SLNA’s player struggled to show his ability. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Park Hang-seo, head coach of Việt Nam's national football team, has doubled down on his belief in midfielder Phan Văn Đức, despite criticism of the Sông Lam Nghệ An player after the loss to Japan on Thursday.

Đức, who has been struggling to return to form after a series of injuries in 2020, was subbed off after just 38 minutes on the field against Japan.

Coming on from the bench at the start of the second half, Đức’s poor display saw the 25-year-old being replaced by Lương Xuân Trường in the 84th minute.

However, Park Hang-seo still believes that the midfielder will return to the brilliant form that he displayed before being sidelined with injuries.

“Phan Văn Đức is an excellent player. It’s a fact and we all know it,” Park said at a press conference before the match against Saudi Arabia.

“He is one of those who can lead the team’s attack. He always works hard in both games and training.

“However, in recent matches, he hasn’t made the most of his full potential. I think he’s lacking in confidence at the moment, particularly against much stronger opponents.

“About replacing him in the previous match against Japan; we were losing, so I had to make a change to improve the situation.

“I really hope that Đức can find his rhythm in the upcoming matches.”

The 0-1 defeat against Japan leaves the Vietnamese side rooted to the bottom of Group B, far away from what was always an unlikely trip to the Qatar 2022 finals.

Coach Park's men will next face Saudi Arabia at home tonight.

In the first match against Saudi Arabia, away from home, the team lost 3-1, despite taking the lead in the 3rd minute thanks to Nguyễn Quang Hải. — VNS

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