HANOI (6 Dec 2010) – The euphoria still lingers but as Simon McMenemy, the chief coach of the Philippines pointed out this afternoon at the pre-match Press Conference for the third match day of Group B of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2010, the team’s main focus is on their next 45 minutes on the pitch - nothing else.
Philippines created the biggest upset at this year’s tournament thus far when they beat defending champions Vietnam 2-0 last night here in Hanoi to at once take the lead in Group B and win one spot in the semi-finals of the tournament this year.
But as McMemeny pointed out, he is not even thinking that far ahead where his focus will be on Myanmar, more specifically on the first half of the match which will be played at the Hien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh in two days.
“I’ve been smiling for the last 12 hours as things like this does not happen very often. But my main focus at this time will be against Myanmar where I’m not even talking about the semi-finals or where we will play – that does not interest me at this point” said McMemeny, who celebrated his 33rd birthday today.
“It will be another torrid time against Myanmar as they gave Vietnam and Singapore a tough fight. For us, we just would like the players to give 100% and if they can do that, it would have justified all the work which they have put in the last two games.”
Added defender Rob Gier: “up until the kick-off last night, I was not feeling too well, I felt realy bad. But with the adrenaline from expecting the 40,000 screaming fans, it just pushed me forward. Even Phil (Younghusband) was not feeling too good. With the win over Vietnam, now we are preparing to face Myanmar next where the focus will surely be to finish at the top of the group.”
For Myanmar on the other hand, the two defeats they suffered has just put them out of the running for a place in the next round with chief coach Tin Myint Aung having the unenviable task of lifting the morale in the team.
“The morale of the team is not at a good place at this time,” quipped Myint Aung. “But we have to do everything possible to make sure that the team put up the best that they can and at least finish this group round on a respectable note.
“Philippines have improved a lot for sure and this can be seen in the last two games they played against Singapore and Vietnam. We have to seriously prepare for this match.”
8 Dec Myanmar vs Philippines (1930hrs at Hien Truong Stadium, Nam Dinh) / Vietnam vs Singapore (1930hrs at My Dinh National Stadium, Hanoi)
1. PHILIPPINES 4pts (+2)
2. SINGAPORE 4pts (+1)
3. VIETNAM 3pt (+4)
4. MYANMAR 0pt (-7)