Thailand turn focus to tactics

Thailand turn focus to tactics

By Kitinan Sanguansak - AFF Thai correspondent

Having contended with injury problems, national coach Winfried Schaefer is mulling over the tactics against Palestine in the second round FIFA World Cup qualifying first leg in Buriram on Saturday.

Thailand's squad trains in Buriram during the week

It will be the German veteran’s first competitive match in charge of the Thai team since taking over the reigns earlier this month following the resignation of former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson, having overseen a 1-0 win and 1-1 draw in the double header friendly against Burma last week.

The preparation so far has been dogged by minor injuries to some of the key players, with central midfielder Datsakorn Thonglao troubled by tight muscles and left back Teeratorn Boonmaton having to train separately from the group on Thursday.

Schaefer, who guided Cameroon to the African Nations Cup title in 2002, though, received bad news after forward Sompong Sorlab was ruled out of the whole tie against Palestine due to injury.

Given that many of the players in the squad remain under injury clouds for the fixture at Buriram PEA’s brand new home ground, IMobile stadium, the German admitted that he was still working on tactics for the game against the Middle East team languishing in 167th place in the world’s ranking.

“After sending Sompong back to the capital to assess his injury problem, it was confirmed that he needed to withdraw from the team for both legs against Palestine. We would not call up any replacement because we already have Wasan (Natasan).

“Rangsan (Wiwatchaichoke) has been unable to train so far due to injury, while Surat (Sukha) is still not fully fit since he just returned to the action for only two weeks.

“Certainly, we will make both tactical and personnel changes for the Palestine fixture. I’ll discuss it with my staff before making a decision. However, the players must be able to play in any formation, whether it is 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, since the situation in either half could be different,” said Schaefer.

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