Coach Nishino admits feeling nervous

Coach Nishino admits feeling nervous

Thailand coach Akira Nishino talks to his players at the team's training camp.
Thailand coach Akira Nishino talks to his players at the team's training camp.

Thailand coach Akira Nishino admitted that he felt a bit nervous during his first training session with his players ahead of two upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

"I last coached a team [the Japanese national side] at the 2018 World Cup so returning to coaching makes me feel a bit nervous,'' he said at the War Elephants' training camp at Bangkok's Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi hotel.

Nishino has picked an initial squad of 33 players which will be trimmed to 23 before Thailand's first two games in the qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup.

The Thais will meet Vietnam at home on Sept 5 and travel to Indonesia on Sept 10.

The other two teams in the group are the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.

A group of players reported to the training camp on Tuesday and another group will join them on Wednesday.

However, Belgium-based Kawin Thamasatchanan and Japanese league stars Theerathon Bunmathan, Chanathip Songkrasin and Thitiphan Puangjan will join the team on Sept 2.

Nishino said the quartet will be the core of his team.

The Japanese said he selected the players after watching them play in Thai League 1. "Thai players have the potential. My first task is to help them play well together and have good teamwork," he said.

Nishino is helped by three assistants Totchtawan Sripan, Anurak Srikerd and Issara Sritaro as well as fitness coach Nebojsa Stemenkovic and goalkeeping coach Sasa Todic.

Former acting Thailand coach Sirisak Yodyardthai was initially in Nishino's coaching staff plans and the Thai was to share his knowledge with the Japanese.

Thailand are scheduled to have only one warm-up game against Thai League 2 side Thai Honda on Saturday following which Nishino will announce his 23 players.

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