Drafted into the "group of death" alongside hosts Thailand, Philippines, and an emerging Myanmar side, Vietnam's preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup suffered major injury setbacks to their key players.
With less than two weeks to go, Goal.com Vietnam spoke to former Leeds United defender, Dylan Kerr regarding his fitness training methods and the Gold Star's chance in this year's AFF Suzuki Cup.
GOAL.com: What did you do before coming to Vietnam? And what do your friends and family think about your current job?
Kerr: I was head coach in South Africa Premier League before I was offered to work with coach Hoang Anh Tuan in Khatoco Khanh Hoa FC. My true friends are proud of where I am and what I am doing. My family knows what it means to me and I'm proud too.
GOAL.com: Now, Vietnam national football team has some injured players such as: Cong Vinh, Tan Tai, Minh Duc, Nguyen Sa who are the backbone of the team. Do you think they can recover before AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 start?
Kerr: They are unfortunate football injuries but with hard work treatment and rest, they hopefully will be 100% ready for the AFF Cup. We have 24 backbones in the team. Everyone has a part to play. I have introduced new warm-ups that are to do with soccer related movements & dynamics and so far we have no muscular injuries.
GOAL.com: How did your physical training exercises help all the players' strength?
Kerr: Making it fun and enjoyable but with a very serious purpose to get fitter andstronger. If the players have a strong mentality to be the best in training, it will bode them well in games. If you can get enthusiasm and energy in training, things improve both individual and as a team.
GOAL.com: Once a football player and a football critic, which team do you consider the biggest obstacle of Vietnam national football team in group matches of AFFSuzuki Cup 2012?
Kerr: I'm never a critic of football, I am a critic of wasted chances, poor defending and players not working hard or listening to the coaches advice. It’s a big competition they will all be difficult, we have to be professional, work hard on the field, play how we can play, quick passing & movement. We also have to look after our recovery in between games and prepare the right way by motivating each other to get the best performance out of each other that includes the medical team kit man & coaching staff, each need to have a mentality of “it’s not what the team can do for me, it’s what I can do for the team”.
GOAL.com: Last but not least, what do you think about our team's winning chance at AFF Suzuki Cup 2012?
Kerr: Football is all down to luck but that luck comes from having the right attitude, to win!