The team are back in Hanoi after a month of intensive training in Nha Trang City.
At a meeting with reporters on April 10, Tuan said his players’ physical strength has improved a lot, but they needed to try harder to be competitive enough at the World Cup.
Vietnam are in Group E with France, Honduras and New Zealand.
“Honduras and New Zealand are stronger than us. France is a powerhouse. They are regular faces of the World Cup, while Vietnam is competing for the first time. We are one of the weakest teams at the event, but are not going to RoK to be a pushover. Vietnam has its own ability and will show it to the world,” he said.
“We understand the Vietnamese players cannot vie with others in term of physique and body form, but we will bring into play our competitive spirit and great discipline,” Tuan said.
Tuan said his coaching board had collected information about these teams and spent a lot of time studying them. Vietnam is lacking in international competition experience, especially at the world level.
It was definite that to face such strong rivals, Vietnam had to play a defensive game, while at the same time players were required to strictly enforce discipline and tactics. It was the only way to spring a surprise, the coach said.
Tuan and his team will practice in Hanoi for about one week before leaving for a two-week training course in Germany. They will play three friendly matches with the youth squads of Schalke 04, Borussia Monchengladbach and Fortuna Dusseldorf.
“We will strongly focus on our weak points from now on and during the course in Germany next week,” he added. “This course also aims to give our players more experience as they will have an opportunity to compete with local clubs’ youth squads.”
Tuan is faced with injury problems. His No 1 goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung has been forced to train on the sidelines because of knee pain, while captain Nguyen Trong Dai has not shown 100% of his ability, having recently returned after several months of the same problem.
However, the coach said he had plan B and plan C in place so that he could adjust under any circumstances.
Several months ago, when talking about Vietnam’s aim at the World Cup Tuan said he hoped his team could pass the group round.
At April 10’s interview, the former defender said he had set a suitable target for the team.
“Please wait! Before our Bahrain Asian championship, people said we could not do anything special, but in fact we grabbed our World Cup ticket. It is the same for the upcoming competition, we will try our best. To us, it is not a play-for-fun World Cup,” Tuan said.
“I will not comment upon Vietnam’s chances of entering the next round, but we have our specific and attainable target.
“Many people called Vietnam’s berth at the World Cup magic and incredible luck. That is not wrong, but we cannot ignore our efforts over two years and several competitions. We have our ambitions and will do anything to make them come true. I myself have a strong belief that Vietnam can collect its very first points from the World Cup for the Southeast Asian region in the event’s 40 years of existence.”