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The Toe Poke
By ESPN Staff

Riedl peeved at training ground gate-crasher

HANOI, July 15 (Reuters) - Vietnam coach Alfred Riedl reprimanded local reporters on Sunday for sneaking into a closed training session on the eve of their Asian Cup clash with Japan.

The co-hosts were seeking some privacy after switching venues in Hanoi, but even a lock-out failed to stop several intrepid Vietnamese journalists finding a way in.

'A few of them sneaked in,' Riedl said. 'It's typical. You see the way they are on the streets here. It's like that. They're like the traffic!

'My driver told me he saw some journalists inside the stadium. I would have let them in but if you let one in you suddenly get a stampede!'

The Austrian wrote off his team's chances of producing arguably the biggest shock in Asian Cup history in their final Group B game on Monday.

'My style of coaching is to play attacking football and hopefully we can catch them on the counter-attack,' Riedl said.

'But we will be defending 70 percent of the time. We need to be careful about everything tomorrow. Japan are honestly too good for us.'

Vietnam, playing in the Asian Cup for the first time in 47 years, have already surpassed expectations with four points from two games, only trailing group leaders Japan on goal difference.

Realistically, however, their hopes of advancing rest on whether United Arab Emirates can take avoid their third straight defeat against Qatar in the other Group B game in Ho Chi Minh.

'If we don't reach the quarter-finals it is already a big achievement for Vietnamese football,' Riedl added. 'But obviously I would like to see a draw in the south (Ho Chi Minh).'

The 47-year-old stated that respectability was his top priority in Monday's game.

'We don't want to get thrashed or lose too badly,' he said. 'It is not logical to play with three or four attackers against Japan.

'I've never seen a team as good as Japan in the Asian Cup. I'm not thinking about pulling off a miracle!'