With target on its back, Thailand ready for the challenge
Out to defend the Suzuki Cup, Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang know there’s a big target on the team’s back.
“When we came here, we know that our group is tough because everybody wants to beat us,” he said. “But we’ll try to defend the championship. We want to make our fans in Thailand happy.”
Parading virtually the same lineup which is competing in the World Cup qualifiers, the Thais are the hands down favorite to snare the crown this early in the tournament.
And as if the powerhouse needed another gear, it welcomes back team captain Teerasil Dangda to its roster.
“He has the experience. He want to fight and show that he wants to get the trophy because he never got a chance to win the Suzuki Cup,” Kiatisuk said of his 28-year-old forward.
Teerasil was absent in the 2014 championship squad as he was still playing with UD Almeria in the second division of the Spanish league. Now, he has a chance to lead Thailand to the title once more, the same way he did in the youth teams.
“It’s his target and I talked to him to do his best and try to make good combinations with the young players,” said the coach.
But with a roster full of talent, Kiatisuk cautions his players to not feel overconfident with every team out to deny Thailand its fifth Suzuki Cup championship.
“Every team is a strong team and our forecast is for us to be champions. But we have to play and be focused. We want to challenge ourselves,” he said.