Robson keeps result in perspective (15 November 2009)
SINGAPORE – Bryan Robson insists he will not be happy until Thailand have secured their place in Qatar despite winning his first competitive match in charge of the national team in a 3-1 AFC Asian Cup qualifier win over Singapore.
A Sutee Suksomkit brace and a strike from veteran Therdsak Chaiman – both of whom have extensive experience of playing in Singapore for S.League sides Tampines Rovers and Singapore Armed Forces respectively – secured the three points while Fahrudin Mustafic converted a late penalty for the hosts.
The win was Thailand's first in Group E and another victory over Singapore in the return game on Wednesday would leave them well placed to qualify for the Asian Cup.
“It is great to win my first competitive game but my job is to qualify and I need to succeed in that and only then will I be happy,” said former Manchester United and England midfielder Robson.
“This is a good result for us and we must now start preparing for Wednesday. It is important we recover for the next game. It is only half the job done and we need to complete the job.
“I'm only thinking about getting a positive result on Wednesday and I don't want to think further than that.”
Although Thailand scored twice in the second half, Singapore had been the better side for large portions and Robson admitted there is still room for improvement.
“We started the game very well and we kept our shape. It gave us the platform to create chances. That was very pleasing.
“In the second half, we got a little stretched and we were a little fortunate when the ball bounced kindly for us. The second goal was a great move and finish from Therdsak.
"What disappointed me was us losing concentration after playing really well. I do not want the team to lose concentration regardless of the score from now on.”
Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic, meanwhile, admitted he was shocked by the way his side played in the first half and although he was pleased with the improved display in the second period, he is keen for a much better overall performance on Wednesday.
“Next week is another game in Thailand and hopefully the ending will be different,” he said.
“Thailand beat a team that I did not recognise in the first half. How we played in the first half was totally unrecognisable from the team I see in training and in recent matches.
“In the second half we started to play and we had three 100% chances which we should have scored.
“We had some poor individual performances today and overall we found it difficult to break the Thais down. We will try to win over there for sure.”