Thais confident of progressing to next stage (November 27, 2007)


Thailand are confident that they will reach Asia's final qualifying round for the 2010 World Cup.

The Thais will begin training next week and will train in Manchester next month and play warm-ups against Middle East sides in January.

The Kingdom were drawn to meet Japan, Bahrain and Oman in Asia's third qualifying round with the two top teams advancing to the final qualifying round.

Thailand coach Chanvit Phalajivin said the group was not that tough and he expected to get 10 points from home games and three from away matches.

''Our aim is to get 10 points which should be enough for us to go through to the next round,'' he said.

''We hope to get seven points at home by drawing with Japan and defeating Bahrain and Oman. We hope to get three draws in away games.''

Chanvit said he would call up his players to train tomorrow and will go to train in Manchester from December 5-16 before returning to defend the King's Cup in Bangkok.

The FAT will contact some Middle East countries to play warm-ups against Thailand in January, he said.

Thailand manager Kittiratt Na Ranong said he was pleased with the draw and looking forward to his side reaching Asia's final qualifying round.

He said Japan were favourites but when he was manager of Thailand's Under-17 team they defeated Japan on their home soil in the Asian Championships a couple of years ago.

''I am not afraid of Japan. We defeated Oman in the Asian Cup. Bahrain are strong but I believe we can get past them,'' Kittiratt said.