Vietnamese U23 team captain Nguyen Van Quyet said team effort is key to Vietnam's success at the 27th Southeast Asia Games (SEA Games 27) in Myanmar.

For the first time since 1995, Vietnamese football has come to the SEA Games with little confidence from football fans and pundits over their chances of entering the top three.

It is believed that the team do not have any players with the ability to turn the tide of the game in their favour, but for Quyet, it is the team's effort that matters.

"In football, the collective effort is the most important aspect, and I believe in this squad, treasure it and have strong faith that it will find success in Myanmar," Quyet asserted.

The U23 team captain had spoken to Vietnam News after a training session at the youth football centre in Hanoi just one day ahead of the team's departure for Nay Pyi Taw, where the Group A matches are scheduled to take place.

The U23 team have made thorough preparations for the Games, playing more than 10 practice matches against various opponents. T he results have been more positive than negative.

"We have worked hard during the past few months. At the moment, all the team members feel relaxed and are looking forward to the game," noted a 22-year-old player who can play both in the midfield and up front.

Vietnam will play Brunei on Sunday and then Singapore two days later. Then, they will have a five-day rehabilitation before taking on Laos on December 15. They will face their toughest opponent, Malaysia, in the last group game on December 17.

The play schedule is not a concern for Quyet, who does not play down the potential of any team to snag a victory, stating that all opponents in Group A are tough and that Vietnam must focus on one match at a time since they are not allowed to make any mistakes.

"Not only are Malaysia and Singapore able to stand in Vietnam's way, but both Brunei and Laos have the ability to defeat us," remarked the successive two-time winner of the Best Young Player of the Year title.

Quyet, who is playing for defending champion Hanoi T&T, also reassured fans that Vietnam is not alone in assembling a team of unknown, young players, with other teams facing similar problems.

"Vietnam is in a state of transition, so the coach must take in younger players, and other teams are facing the same situation as well," he said.

Vietnam have made it to the top four since 2003, having reached the finals three times but never having lifted a trophy.

Most fans and critics, however, noted that they do not see any signs of an end to the trophy drought this year.

"Heading to Myanmar with few expectations could give us greater focus during the games, so we can play to our best ability. Who knows, the ball is round, and with some luck, we will make a statement this time," the Hanoi-born footballer said.

Head coach Hoang Van Phuc on December 2 announced the U23 team's shortlist for the Games, dropping Ngo Hoang Thinh, who cannot recover from his injuries in time, as well as Nguyen Xuan Hung and Ngan Van Dai, who failed to impress Phuc.

The team flied to Myanmar on November 4.-VNA