Tehran Times - Iran national football team coach Carlos Queiroz says they will never make the mistake of underestimating Vietnam.
Iran have been scheduled to meet Vietnam at Abu Dhabi’s Al Nahyan Stadium on Saturday in Group D of the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.
"I had seen Vietnam's matches in the buildup to the tournament and I thought they were a good side but after watching their performance against Iraq, I have to say they are a very good side," Queiroz said in pre-match news conference.
"They faced Iraq, one of the favorites to win the AFC Asian Cup, and for 90 minutes, Vietnam gave the match their all. They led twice and, despite football not being about being fair, I must say that they deserved, at least, a draw,” ex-Real Madrid coach added.
"I am not surprised as I know about the Vietnam head coach (Park Hang-seo). He is a good coach and he has good players."
This, insisted Queiroz, is why Iran will not take Vietnam lightly.
"This is a team that has played 13 matches since October. They won the AFF Cup and this shows how seriously Vietnam are about doing well in the Asian Cup.
"Iran will never make the mistake of underestimating them because that is not how we are built."
Queiroz explained that in his eight years with Team Melli, he had instilled values in the squad which were very dear to him.
"We are not an arrogant team and as the leader of my team, I always like to share fundamental values with my players. The foundation is always to respect teams.
"It doesn't matter who the opponents are as it is always the same value of respecting them."
Iran, said Queiroz, will face Vietnam with the focus and drive that has made them what they are.
"We are going into this game with our normal attitude, which is to win. It will be the same approach Vietnam take and having watched them play against Iraq, we will start fully alert as we know they can hurt us.
"Having said that, it is our responsibility to qualify for the next round and that is exactly what we will try to do," Queiroz added
Also, Vietnam coach Park Hang-seo says they will face the Continent's top ranked team but he promised it won't stop them from giving Carlos Queiroz's Iran a tough fight.
"We will be playing the strongest team in Asia. They are technically, tactically and physically better than us but having said that, we will play to our strengths to get the desired result," said Park Hang-seo.
"It will be very hard for us as Iran are a highly experienced side but my players have got strong mental strength and I believe we can overcome Iran," the Korean stated.
Vietnam, added Park, have forgotten about their heartbreak against Iraq, which saw them conceding a late goal as they fell 3-2 to the West Asians in their opening Group D tie.
"It was disappointing as we led twice only to lose but now, we must focus on Iran and getting a good result against them."
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