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Kiatisak ‘ready’ to face the axe

FOOTBALL: Embattled Thailand coach Kiatisak Senamuang has said he does not mind losing his job if his team’s performance has failed to impress the local fans.

Bangkok Post

Thursday 30 March 2017, 11:09AM

Sports Authority of Thailand Governor Sakol Wannapong (right) greets national team coach Kiatisak Senamuang and his players at Suvarnabhumi airport. Photo: via Bangkok Post
Sports Authority of Thailand Governor Sakol Wannapong (right) greets national team coach Kiatisak Senamuang and his players at Suvarnabhumi airport. Photo: via Bangkok Post

The Thai team returned home yesterday (Mar 29) after suffering a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Asian powerhouses Japan in their seventh Group B match of the final phase of Asian qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday (Mar 28).

The rout followed a 3-0 loss to Saudi Arabia at home last Thursday (Mar 23).

These results have left Thailand firmly riveted to the foot of the table with just one point to their credit. They are the only side in the 12-team final stage yet to win a match.

Thailand, whose slim mathematical chance of making it to Russia 2018 fizzled out with the loss to Japan, still have three matches to play after a break of almost two months.

Kiatisak, a former Thailand striker, insisted that there were no easy matches in the final Asian stage.

“We are all answerable to the Thai fans, so let them be the judge and if they are not happy, I am ready to be sacked,” commented Kiatisak.

He added: “I don’t mind if the president of the Football Association of Thailand [FAT] Gen Somyot Poompunmuang wants to sack the coach, team staff and players because we have not been able to win any matches in this World Cup qualifying round.

“But we have made progress. We aren’t watching these top Asian teams on the TV, we are playing against them. Today, we have players like Adisak Kraisorn, Teerasil Dangda, Sirod Chatthong and Chanathip Songkrasin.

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“We also have to look at the other group as well. We all know how much Qatar spends on its national football team. Today, they are also in the bottom place in Group A.

“In this round, all teams are the top Asian teams and we have to see for ourselves whether we are strong enough now.

“I apologise to the Thai football fans for the loss to Japan, but everyone knows we were facing one of the strongest teams in Asia.

“For the remaining three matches, they will not be easy for us. However, I would like to confirm that we will try to get three points from these games.”

Kiatisak admitted that he had received instructions from the FAT president to replace some of the players and added that he would be closely observing Thai League 1 games in search of better players for the national team.

Thailand’s next match be against the United Arab Emirates at Rajamangala National Stadium on June 13.

Read original story here.



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