Schaefer confident of World Cup task (02/08/2011)

Despite being drawn into a tough World Cup qualifying group, Thailand coach Winfried Schaefer is in confident mood saying he is not afraid of any side.

Thailand face Australia, Saudi Arabia and Oman in Group D of Asia's third qualifying round for the 2014 World Cup with the top two teams from each of the five groups advance to the final stage.

Although Schaefer's men could only edge past Palestine 3-2 over two legs in the previous qualifying tie in his first assignment as coach of Thailand, the German said he aimed to get at least a point in every game against Australia, Saudi Arabia and Oman.

"We could not select our opponents and I don't care who we are going to meet," said Schaefer who coached Cameroon at the 2002 World Cup.

"We are not afraid of any team and our players are eager to play against any team. We target a point in every away game and we should win all home games."

Schaefer has worked with several teams in the Middle East and he believes his knowledge of football in the region would be useful.

"I know that players in the Middle East are tall and have good skills. But we prove that we can play against a Middle East side by beating Palestine. I am sure that we can get good results against Saudi Arabia and Oman."

Worawi Makudi, president of the Football Association of Thailand, has called a meeting of the National Team Committee on Thursday to map out plans for the World Cup qualifying.

Worawi has promised to give the national side one million baht for each win.

Following the World Cup draw on Saturday, national team manager Anucha Nakasai said Thailand could upset the Aussies, who finished second at this year's Asian Cup.

"They are admittedly all strong teams but at least we didn't get Japan or South Korea," he said.

"Australia play a high standard of football, but I think we can give them a good game. The Australian players are tall but they are a bit slow. I think we have the speed with our short-passing game to upset them, but of course it will be difficult."

Australia coach Holger Osieck was diplomatic on Sunday saying: "Saudi look pretty strong to me but you never know where you stand with a team like Oman and even Thailand.

"They all have international coaches, Rijkaard at Saudi, Paul Le Guen at Oman and Winfried Schaefer in Thailand, so they will try to introduce their success into their teams."

The Socceroos are favourites to progress from what one Australian newspaper described as the "group of life" .

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