Polking says he has quality players to face Syria, UAE
Polking wants to focus on players at his disposal
published : 22 Mar 2023 at 04:00
newspaper section: Sports
writer: Tor Chittinand
Thailand coach Mano Polking says he still has quality players despite the absence of some stars.
The War Elephants are preparing to play two warm-up games in the United Arab Emirates, against Syria on Saturday and the UAE next Tuesday.
Polking did not call up veteran striker Teerasil Dangda and midfielder Sarach Yooyen, both of Thai League 1 struggling giants BG Pathum United.
"The absence of Teerasil and Sarach will not be a problem for the team," said Polking.
"I'd like to focus on the players we have. We have several quality players. Missing some players is not a problem because we have other players to replace them. I have confidence in all 24 players we have."
Without Teerasil, their strike force is likely to be led by in-form forward Supachai Chaided, the current leading scorer in Thai League 1 with 14 goals.
Playmaker Chanathip Songkrasin of Japanese club Kawasaki Frontale has returned to the squad after he opted not to play in the Asean Cup won by Thailand earlier this year.
Forward Ekanit Panya has pulled out of the team due to injury and Polking did not call up a replacement.
"The two matches are important for our team because they are quality teams. We want to see which level we are at when we meet higher-ranked teams," said the German-Brazilian coach.
Meanwhile, experienced duo Maya Yoshida and Yuto Nagatomo were left out of Japan's squad for this month's friendly matches with Uruguay and Colombia.
Fullback Hiroki Sakai and midfielder Takumi Minamino were also left out of a squad which featured six uncapped players including J-League trio Ryotaro Tsunoda, Kashif Bangnagande and Riku Handa.
"I want to have a bigger, deeper pool of players to enable us to make the strongest national team in the future," said coach Hajime Moriyasu, who led Japan to the knockout rounds at the 2022 World Cup.
- Mano Polking