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Lao football coach puts faith in his players

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 , Posted by samakomlao at 4:59 PM

Lao U-23 Football Team Manager Viphet Sihachackr said yesterday that the team's experience in previous matches will mean they perform at their best in December.

“The test matches might have made people unhappy with our performance, because they think our team is hopeless and has lost to many other teams on previous occasions, but in fact the fans don't understand that we just used those games as practice for the real event in December,” he said.

Mr Viphet said his team didn't need to win those matches, rather they needed to get much more experience, so that after each match coach and team assistant could analyse the game and suggest how the footballers could improve their performance.

Since the tournament in Cambodia in early November, many Lao football fans have complained about the team not playing well enough.

Their complaints were heightened at the most recent match at Chao Anouvong on Tuesday when the Lao team lost 3-1 to Hoang Anh Gia Lia of Vietnam .

“Hoang Anh Gia Lia is an official sponsor of the 25th SEA Games, so they just wanted to send their football team to practice with our team.

“We learnt many things from them because they had many good players,” Mr Viphet said.

Mr Viphet said the team has been playing very well recently and is ready for their first SEA Games match on December 5 against Myanmar , the runner up at the 24th SEA Games in Thailand .

On December 7 the Lao team will face Indonesia and on December 10 they will take on Singapore in the quarterfinal of the SEA Games.

Mr Viphet said Myanmar is a strong contender but the Lao footballers would try their best to win.

“We will be the winner of the match.

“We know Myanmar is strong but because we are the host country we want to stay in the competition as long as possible,” he said.

Mr Viphet said he trusted the ability of his players after they had gained experience locally and abroad.

“We have spoken with other coaches about our athletes, who said they are improving even though they haven't had much time to practice. The Austrian coach said if the Lao team had more time, they would be really good,” he said.

The men's football teams will be divided into two groups. Laos will be in Group B along with Myanmar , Singapore and Indonesia , while in Group A Thailand will play against Vietnam , Malaysia , Timor Leste and Cambodia .

The women's teams will play in only one group, which comprises Malaysia , Thailand , Myanmar , Vietnam and Laos .

By Souknilundon Southivongnorath

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