Update: 15:58 | 28/09/2022
Nguyen Quang Hai, one of Vietnam's top midfielders, is confident of adapting to the new environment at French club Pau FC after an unsuccessful period there.
"Recently I have not played regularly at Pau. I’m adjusting to fit myself into the club’s playing style. I will try to adapt to the new environment. Everything is still there for me," Hai said before a Monday's training session with the national team in HCMC.
Nguyen Quang Hai during a training session with the Vietnam national team in HCMC on September 26, 2022.
In the summer, Hai signed a two-year deal with Pau and became the first Vietnamese footballer to play for a professional club in France.
In the opening match of Ligue 2, he came on in the 60th minute when Pau was led 0-4 by Guingamp. Although he could not help his club make a comeback, the Vietnamese midfielder got the second highest score among Pau players in this match.
Hai then started two games in a row, when Pau drew 0-0 against Dijon and 1-1 with La Havre. However, he had unconvincing performances and was put on the bench in round four. Since then, Hai's minutes on the field have gradually decreased. In the seventh round, he did not play a single minute when Pau drew 2-2 against Saint-Etienne. The same thing happened in round eight.
In the ninth round, Hai entered the field in the 80th minute when Pau defeated Valenciennes 1-0. After this match, he returned home to play at an international friendly tournament in preparation for the AFF Cup taking place at the end of this year.
"This period with the national team is very valuable for me to switch up the atmosphere and environment, in order to recharge good energy to move toward the next goal," he added.
AFF Cup is not on FIFA's international calendar, so Pau do not have to let Hai go back to Vietnam to play the tournament. To reach an agreement, Hai and the Vietnam Football Federation will have to work with Pau.
"I have discussed this matter with coach Park Hang-seo. I really want to play at AFF Cup. However, it depends on whether I can work with Pau to find the most suitable solution for both sides," Hai said.