Hanoi: Having been a surprise omission from the starting 11 for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 final first leg, striker Nguyen Anh Duc is prepared to play whatever role he can in helping guide Vietnam to success in the decisive return meeting in Hanoi on Saturday.

Youngster Ha Duc Chinh was handed the start in the 2-2 draw at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Kuala Lumpur and he bore the brunt of a wave of online criticism after several missed chances with Anh Duc branding those attacks ‘unfair’ on his fellow forwards.

“Because this is the final all players feel stress, especially in an away match and I saw that after the game there was a lot of media and other comments about certain mistakes or chances missed by the strikers.

“As an older player it was my responsibility to help them and I told the other strikers not to think so much about the past. That match is already finished, and now we need to think about this second match.”

With three goals to his name in the tournament, the veteran forward is Vietnam’s joint leading scorer and whether it’s from the bench or in the starting side the 33-year-old said he’s ready to make whatever contribution he can.

“I didn't play in the first leg for tactical reasons from the coach, but even from the bench I could sense the excitement of the game in Malaysia. If I have the chance to play, I’ll do my best and all that I can with my teammates to make sure that we are champions.

“We know, though, that this match is different from when we faced Malaysia in the group stage and won 2-0. Malaysia need to score so they’ll play with a high motivation and spirit and so we need to make sure that we give them a lot of pressure.”