Reid's departure regarded by fans, critics as best outcome (10 September 2009)

Few tears were shed as Thai fans and critics yesterday welcomed the end of Peter Reid's tenure as national team coach.

Football Association of Thailand president Worawi Makudi announced yesterday that he had terminated Reid's contract with the FAT.

The move was agreed by mutual consent as the former Sunderland boss wanted to be assistant to Stoke City manager Tony Pulis, according to Worawi who called Reid on Tuesday night.

"I agree with the decision. Our national pride is important," said Pinit Ngampring, head of the Cheer Thai Power Club, the biggest fan club in Thai football.

"He hurt our feelings. He was still under contract with Thailand but worked at Stoke City. I think this was a serious case."

Reid, 53, told the English media last month that he wanted to work in the English Premier League and did not have a problem being Pulis' assistant.

Although the Thai national team do not have matches until they play Singapore home and away in the Asian Cup qualifying round in November, Reid should have been here to watch national team players and look for young stars, Pinit said.

He said Thailand under Reid had not made much progress, although the players looked to have more discipline and trained harder.

Pinit suggested that if the next national coach is a foreigner, then he should be tasked with overseeing the whole system from youth to full national level.

Veteran sports writer Thepachai Winothai of Daily News said it was apparent that Reid's heart was not here.

"His heart is in England with Stoke City, so let him go. It's useless to keep him," he said.

Thepachai said he was upset when Reid told the English media of his desire to work at Stoke when he still was Thailand's coach.

Reid's assistant Steve Darby has been appointed acting national coach until a new one is named.

Darby said he did not have a problem being head coach or assistant coach.

"I don't have any problem working as the national coach. I know the players a lot and the Asian Cup qualifying round is coming up and I am looking forward to this," he said.

"I think by next week, the FAT will sort it out. I have been watching the players from the TPL (Thai Premier League) every week and have got a lot of information about the players."

Charnvit Phalajivin, who quit as national coach last year and was succeeded by Reid, said Darby was a good choice to replace Reid.

"Steve has been working with the team for one year so he should not have any problem," he said. "We should look forward. The FAT must appoint a new coach as soon as possible."