'Coach' Newin sacks coach Atthaphol

As Buriram United were celebrating their last-16 berth in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night, club chairman Newin Chidchob sacked coach Atthaphol Puspakom.

Buriram United chairman Newin Chidchob, left, and former coach Atthaphol Puspakom, decide to go on their own way. (Photo from Buriram United website)

"We have parted company with coach Atthaphol Puspakom," Newin announced on the club's website, www.buriramunited.co.th, shortly after the Thunder Castle held FC Seoul to a 2-2 draw in South Korea to become the first Thai team in a decade to reach the AFC Champions League knockout stage.

"The coach failed to act according to our agreement. We have a good system and we will move on."

Buriram manager Tadthep Pitakpoolsin said the club had appointed Scott Cooper, former chief of English club Leiceter City's academy, as his replacement.

The Thai FA Cup champions will meet Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan in the last 16 of the AFC Champions League this month.

Atthaphol, who guided Buriram to several titles, admitted he was at odds with Newin who he claimed wanted a role in player substitutions during games.

"Newin talked to me after Wednesday's game," Atthaphol said.

"I was the coach and had to shoulder responsibility for any result. I could not act according to the boss's policy. He had the right to part company with me and I accept the decision."

Buriram captain Suchao Nutnum said he was saddened by Atthaphol's departure because he had worked with him for a long time.

"This is part of football. I wish him well and hope he becomes successful in the future," said Suchao.

One of the most successful Thai coaches, Atthaphol was fired by Muang Thong United after he steered them to the club's first-ever Thai Premier League title in 2009.

He then joined Newin's club, then Buriram PEA, and guided them to an unprecedented three domestic titles - the TPL, FA Cup and League Cup - in the same season in 2011.

Although the Thunder Castle failed to defend the TPL crown last year, Atthaphol's men still managed to retain the FA Cup and League Cup titles.

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