Thailand football coach expects better show

Caretaker coach in confident mood ahead of War Elephants' last Group A clash with hosts

Thailand interim coach Sirisak Yodyardthai (left) celebrates after his team beat Bahrain in Dubai on Thursday. (AP photo)

After Thailand's exceptional performance in their victory over Bahrain on Thursday, caretaker coach Sirisak Yodyardthai says he expects a better show from the War Elephants in the next game.

After a goalless first half, Consodole Sapporo star Chanathip Songkrasin delivered the winner with a superb shot that eventually sealed Thailand's 1-0 victory, reviving their AFC Asian Cup Group A campaign.

"I felt that we did very well, especially in the second half," Sirisak said.

"The players delivered what I wanted. We had adjusted a few tactical points from the last game. The players kept going and compliments to Bahrain for a strong match. We are very happy with the result and we will come back better for the next game."

Sirisak took over the reins of the team after Milovan Rajevac was sacked as coach following their 4-1 defeat to India last Sunday, and the 49-year-old revealed that one of his first steps was to rebuild confidence and instil discipline in the squad.

"I told them that I have faith in them and that they could deliver," said Sirisak.

"After I was appointed as the interim head coach, we looked through the mistakes of that game [against India] and I instilled into the team more discipline and put emphasis on defence, and the players delivered as I wanted.

"Rajevac had implemented a very strong structure in our team and I wanted to let the players express themselves in the best way they could and today, they showed that they can, and we'll be expecting more from them."

The win over the West Asians is their first in five encounters and Sirisak said he expects his team to maintain their form against hosts the United Arab Emirates at Abu Dhabi's Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on Monday.

"I'm very excited and happy. Thailand don't have a very good record against teams from West Asia, and today the players did really well. I'm still very surprised with the performance they delivered but it is due to the homework the team had done.

"The next game against the UAE is going to be a very tough game. They are the hosts and will have the fans backing them but I believe in my players and am confident they will do well in the next game as well."

Sirisak added after a light training session yesterday: "We watched the game between the UAE and India, and I think India were much better than the hosts but they couldn't convert their chances.

"We are very optimistic as the mood in the team camp is far better now."

Bahrain held the lion's share of possession and had almost double the shots on target compared to the Thais but failed to find the back of the net.

Bahrain coach Miroslav Soukup blamed the loss on their shortcomings in the final third but is still hopeful of winning against India in Sharjah on Monday.

"We had ball possession in the first half and other than the quality of our finishing, I don't think there is anything wrong," Soukup said.

"We are still looking forward because the tournament is not finished. In front of us is a game against India, and I think everything is open.

"We hope that if we win against India, we can qualify with four points."

Bahrain face India in their last Group A game on Monday.


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