Thailand eye Withe as coach (11/05/2011)

Bangkok: Former England international Peter Withe is a possible contender to replace Bryan Robson, who quit suddenly as coach of Thailand after just under two years in the job, local media said Thursday.

Withe, 59, previously coached the side from 1998 to 2002, leading Thailand to two ASEAN Football Championships and the semi-final of the Asian Games in Bangkok.

"Peter Withe is an interesting choice because we are very close friends and I was the one who asked him to coach the Thai team last time," Siam Sport quoted Football Association of Thailand chief Worawi Makudi as saying.

Thailand have had a string of big-name British managers, including former Sunderland and Manchester City boss Peter Reid, who left in September 2009 after only one year.

The reasons for the departure of Robson, a former England and Manchester United captain, are unclear. He underwent surgery for throat cancer on March 3 and has previously said doctors were optimistic he would make a full recovery.

"Bryan wished to resign and his contract was terminated by mutual consent, but I cannot give any more details," said Worawi.

Robson won 90 international caps during a glittering career, including 65 as captain, despite a string of major injuries. England manager Sir Bobby Robson nicknamed his namesake "Captain Marvel".

But he had a patchy record with Thailand since taking over in September 2009, winning only seven of 18 matches.

"This decision has been made for a number of reasons, but primarily for health and family reasons," Robson said in a statement.

"I have enjoyed my time associated with Thai football and leave with nothing but respect for the endeavours of people within the game who are working so hard to develop the game to reach the standard that it truly deserves ."

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