The War Elephants on Thursday focused on sharpening their scoring skills ahead of their AFF Suzuki Cup Group A battle with Myanmar tomorrow in Singapore.
Thailand coach Mano Polking has obviously been concerned by the Thai forwards’ inability to convert many scoring chances during their lacklustre 2-0 victory over minnows Timor Leste in the tournament opener on Sunday.
“We knew that Timor Leste would play defence and to play an attacking game and score goals against such a team that sits so deep in their own half isn’t easy at all,” said Polking.
The German-Brazilian coach added that it could all boil down to the ability of the War Elephants to score early against Myanmar and “also depend on the patience of players.
“I have told the players that if the first goal came quickly then the game will be open.
“We have trained very hard during this week, mostly concentrating on scoring from within the penalty area.
“In the previous game, we had many chances but our players’ movement inside the box wasn’t smooth and their placement also wasn’t what it should have been.
“It’s good that we have had a lot of time before the Myanmar game. Our performance in the opening match may not have been perfect but we will try to get better and better with every game in the tournament.
“I believe that the arrival of Chanathip Songkrasin and Theerathon Bunmathan will lift the team.
“I am happy with the mood of the players, everyone is looking forward to the match against Myanmar.”
Thailand team manager Nualphan Lamsam also believes that experience of the two J-League stars — Chanathip and Theerathon — will help the War Elephants put on a better show.
“With the arrival of Chanathip and Theerathon, the team looks perfect,” she said.
“It has had a very positive impact on other players’ confidence and everyone looks very relaxed.
“I am convinced that with their skills and experience, Chanathip and Theerathon will help the national team play at a higher level.”
She added that a strict vigil was being kept on the players because of the lingering coronavirus threat. “They have all been advised to be extra careful,” said Nualphan.
Five-time champions Thailand failed to reach the final of the regional championship in 2018 and are keen to wrest back the crown.
The other two teams in Thailand’s group are hosts Singapore and the Philippines.
Defending champions Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia are in Group B.
Source: Bangkok Post