Respect all rivals, warns FAT supremo

Respect all rivals, warns FAT supremo

Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Pol Gen Somyot Poompunmuang on Thursday cautioned the War Elephants against underestimating any team in their 2022 World Cup qualifying group.

FAT chief Somyot Poompunmuang.

Thailand were drawn in Group G along with the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia for the Asia/Oceania zone second round qualifiers on Wednesday.

"We must prepare the team well and not underestimate any team in our qualifying group. We must show them due respect," Somyot said.

"Every country is making an effort to improve its team and there are no underdogs at this level anymore.

"Our first match is against Vietnam on Sept 5. In the past, we used to beat them with ease, but now it is different. Now everything depends on who is better prepared for the match.

"However, I have faith in our national players because they have lots of experience and are also thirsty to win."

FAT technical chairman Witthaya Laohakul said: "I am quite surprised to see that there are four Asean teams in our group, but it brightens the chances of qualifying for the next round for the teams from this region.

"I am worried about our new coach Akira Nishino. It always takes some time before the players can get used to a new coach's style and training methods."

For the first qualifier with Vietnam, who defeated the War Elephants 1-0 at this year's King's Cup tournament, Witthaya said: "We must believe in ourselves and trust the coach's tactics. The most important things in any match are concentration, confidence and consistency.

"I don't think it will be easy for us to qualify for the third stage of the Asia/Oceania zone qualifiers but it won't be impossible either."

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