Thai manager expects fair play in match against Singapore (February 04, 2007)
Kiatisak on the bench as coach reshuffles
By Tor Chittinand
Thailand team manager Thavatchai Sajakul said his side are ready for a tough, but sporting, clash against Singapore tonight in the final of the Asean Championship at Supachalasai Stadium. Thailand trail 2-1 after Wednesday's first leg in Singapore following a controversial late penalty which prompted a 15 minute protest by the Thai team.
Thavatchai said he expects tonight's match to provide a fitting end to an exciting tournament.
''It will be a good match, as it was in Singapore, but hopefully the result will be different,'' he said.
''The match in Singapore was very even and I expect something like that tonight.
''This time we will have the crowd behind us and I think we will win 1-0 to push the game to extra time and penalties.''
Thavatchai also tried to calm fears about crowd trouble at the game.
''There has been a lot of talk about unwelcome incidents that might happen at Supachalasai,'' he said.
''But I don't think they will happen.
''We will not give the doubters the pleasure of something untoward happening in the stadium.
''I am hoping for a hospitable crowd in the stadium to greet our visitors.''
He said he expected the Thai team to play in their usual style.
''We will not play rough just because it is a home game,'' he said.
''We will play technical, tactical football and do our best.
''If we win, we will win with fair play and whatever the result, whatever the whistles from the referee we will accept it.''
Kiatisak Senamuang starts on the bench for the game but Nataporn Phanrit (injury) and Nirut Surasiang (suspension) are out.
Thailand coach Chanvit Phalajivin said he would reshuffle his pack accordingly.
''We will have to change some tactics because of the missing players,'' he said.
''However, we will attack from the start because we must win the match and the title.''
Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic said he thought the final was a fitting clash between the top two teams in the region.
''I am happy that we are in Thailand,'' he said. ''I think we are the best two teams in Southeast Asia and I expect it to be a good game.
''I hope that we can finish this championship in good style, that is what this championship deserves.
''I think throughout the tournament my players have played with a positive attitude.
''I always say to the players, go out and try your best and whatever will happen will happen.
''Our players and Thailand's players are friends. They meet many times at national level and I am sure there will not be any hard feelings.''
Singapore's Fazrul Nawaz is out through suspension.
The FAT have urged fans to wear the yellow shirts to celebrate the 80th birthday anniversary of His Majesty the King.
The match between Thailand and Singapore will be televised live on channel 7 and Star Sports at 7pm.
Thailand: Kittisak Rawangpa, Suree Sukha, Jedsada Jitsawad, Niweat Siriwong, Natthaphong Samana, Datsakorn Thonglao, Pichitphong Choeichiew, Suchao Nutnum, Sutee Suksomkit, Hadtaporn Suwan and Pipat Tonkanya.
Singapore: Lionel Lewis, Daniel Mark Bennett, Aide Iskandar, Precious Emuejeraye, Mohd Noh bin Rahman, Muhd Ridhuan bin Muhd, Shi Jia Yi, Mustafic Fahrudin, Mohd Shahril bin Ishak, Mohd Khairul Amri and Mohd Noh Alam Shah.