Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl has admitted that the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) would be making a grave mistake if they opted not to retain the services of head coach Nguyen Huu Thang.
Riedl’s comments come after Vietnam were eliminated from the tournament following a narrow 4-3 aggregate loss to Indonesia in the semi-finals.
This marked the second time in a row that Vietnam have failed to make it past the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup as in 2014, they were knocked out after losing 5-4 on aggregate to Malaysia.
“I think that the VFF should retain Huu Thang,” Riedl said. “He has done a magnificent job with the Vietnam national team. He is a very good coach but was just unlucky on the night.
“He was up against a strong defensive team and even though Vietnam showed a lot of spirit, we were determined to defend.”
Vietnam established themselves as a team to beat after they maintained a perfect record in the group stage, winning all three of their games and conceding just two goals in that period of time.
But, when it mattered most, they failed to rise to the occasion and saw their hopes of reaching the final go up in smoke. The last time Vietnam reached was final was when they won the competition in 2008.
Nonetheless, Riedl reiterated that the VFF should keep hold of Huu Thang considering the success the national team has had under his guidance.
“I believe that he has done a good job with Vietnam and there is no reason why he should not be retained,” Riedl said.