Pattaya Daily News

06 January 2010 :: 12:01:02 pm 4670

Asian Cup Qualifier: Must Win Match for Thailand

Thailand will have their backs to the wall in tonight’s Asian Cup Qualifying match against fourth place Jordan. Thailand currently sit third in their group, with only the top two teams progressing through to the 2011 Asian Cup Finals in Qatar.
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Bangkok, the 6th of January 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: After tonight’s match against Jordan the Thai’s final game of the qualifiers will be against group leaders Iran in Tehran. Prior to tonight’s fixtures Iran lead the group on 7 points followed by Singapore on 6 and Thailand on 5, with things so close at the top Thailand must ensure a victory tonight at all costs.  

The new Thai coach, former England and Manchester United captain Bryan Robson knows that the match against Jordan is crucial to the Kingdoms chances of proceeding into the finals in 2011, stating; “We know how important this game is. We know that we have to bring back the fans’ faith. We have to play the match like a FA Cup final. The players will go out and hopefully the fans will get behind the team.”

 

With Thailand never having defeated Jordan in the last four matches the record may play havoc with the mindsets of the Thai players, however; Robson seems to think otherwise, positively stating, “What happened in the past doesn’t mean anything for this game. I hope that it will be fifth time lucky for the Thai side.”

Robson clearly is taking this mission very seriously, understanding the pressure that is put on the continued improvement and more importantly, success of the Thai national team. “I watched them play against China and some DVDs of their recent games and we have worked on some of the aspects of their weaknesses. The players have worked hard on what they will have to do in the game. I’m sure that we will give a good show.”

Unfortunately Thailand will be without suspended captain Datsakorn Thonglao and injured striker Teerasil Dangda, whilst midfielder Surat Sukha and defender Peter Laeng are doubtful. Thailand’s stand-in skipper Nattaporn Phanrit has reported that although Thailand will feel the loss of possibly four valuable squad members the remainder of the team are determined to avenge the early exit of the Under-23 side at the SEA Games.

Jordan coach Adnan Hamad has announced several changes to the team from the one that drew with Thailand earlier on in the campaign. Stating that his team were now at full strength after three players have returned following the friendly match against China. “We have the best players with us for this match, this match is important for both teams. It may be the last chance,” he said. 

Hamad stated that his tactics for tonight’s match would remain largely unchanged from those that gained Jordan a 0-0 draw with Thailand in the first game, stating that the Thai coach is still an Englishman. The Thai coach who succeeded in drawing with Jordan in the previous match was former England and Everton player Peter Reid, who left his post as Thailand’s national team manager to take up the assistant managers’ position at English Premier League outfit Stoke City.

The Group E match kicks off at 6.30pm at Rajamangala National Stadium, tickets are 100-500 baht and available at the stadium. The match will be televised live on Channel 7.

 

Reporter : Harry Roberts   Photo : Internet   Category : Sports News

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