Shoddy win fails to please Worrawoot
Coach labels Thai show against Timor Leste a 'disgrace', seeks quick response from squad
Thailand did pick up their first win of the men's football competition at the 2017 SEA Games on Thursday night, but their shoddy performance in the 1-0 victory over minnows Timor Leste prompted coach Worrawoot Srimakha to declare it a "disgrace".
A late goal by Worachit Kanitsribumpen spared Thailand, the two-time defending champions, their blushes.
The lacklustre show against Timor Leste came hot on the heels of an equally scrappy 1-1 draw against Indonesia on Tuesday.
The upshots of their first two Group B matches in Kuala Lumpur have left the War Elephants in third place, trailing Vietnam and Indonesia.
Vietnam have a perfect record so far and lead the group with six points. Indonesia and Thailand both have four points but the former sport a superior goal difference.
The top two teams of Group A and Group B advance to the semi-finals.
Thailand have an additional day at their disposal to sort out the side's shortcomings before facing Cambodia tomorrow, when the Thais will once again take the field as the heavy favourites for a big win.
The game against Cambodia will kick off at 7.45pm (Thai time).
"What a disgrace!" is how Worrawoot described the Thai team's performance against Timor Leste, who lost 4-0 to Vietnam in their opening game.
Worrawoot had made some changes to the team after the draw against Indonesia in the first game, leaving skipper Chenrop Samphaodi on the bench and starting with Sittichok Kannoo, but the new combinations also failed to work.
"I am not very pleased with the team's performance at all," said Worrawoot.
"We were lucky to pick up three points from this game. Our tactics were not good at all today.
"Many players played like they had no desire to win. Don't ask me because I don't know the reason as well."
The coach also rued missed chances in the second half.
"In the first half, we had only one chance, but we created so many chances in the second half and were able to convert only one," Worrawoot said.
"I don't understand. During the training, they did so well but on the match day, it was completely the opposite.
"These players should go and watch how the past national teams played for the country when they were on the pitch.
"If they continue to perform like this, I have a feeling that we will not reach the semi-finals."
After yesterday's training, Worrawoot added: "We have to improve our defence especially when tackling counter-attacks and we also need to improve our scoring."
"I have already made up my mind on who I will pick for the match against Cambodia," he said but ruled out any wholesale changes to the squad.
"We will stick to our style of play but I would like all players to exhibit more confidence. They are all good players but they lack confidence and this encourages our opponents."
Team manager Watanya Wongopasi said: "We had a better venue to train today. Many players are under pressure at the moment, but we have two days before playing the third match with Cambodia.
"We will have to talk to the players and try to put them at ease."