Attaphol appointed assistant coach (5 February 2010)

BANGKOK – Attaphol Puspakom, who recently became Technical Director at ACL qualification hopefuls Muangthong United after being replaced as head coach by René Desaeyere, has been appointed assistant coach of the Thailand national team.

The Bangkok Post reported that Attaphol has been brought in to work alongside manager Bryan Robson after the FAT (Football Association of Thailand) decided to replace Steve Darby following Thailand’s failure to get beyond the group stage of the 2009 SEA Games when the former Perak and Home United coach was at the helm.

The newspaper quoted FAT President Worawi Makudi as saying that Thailand’s failure to win a ninth successive SEA Games gold was “unacceptable” but added that Darby will continue to work in the national team set up as his contract runs until 2011.

The first task for Attaphol, who led BEC Tero Sasana to the final of the inaugural AFC Champions League, is to help Robson prepare Thailand for their final 2011 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Iran in Tehran on March 3.

With one round of Group E fixtures left to play, Thailand is level with Singapore on six points, four behind already qualified Iran, and the Thais will at the very least need to avoid defeat at the Azadi Stadium and hope that their ASEAN rivals lose to bottom-of-the-table Jordan in their final match in Amman on the same day.