Thailand national team head coach Akira Nishino has expressed his optimism of the War Elephants having a good chance to progress through the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers second round.
The Changsuek were handed a ASEAN-heavy Group G in the second round of the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers where they will be joined by regional rivals Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia along with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“We are in a group that is not too tough but not easy as well. The good thing is we don’t have to travel far for the games as most are in Southeast Asia,” the Japanese tactician said on Sunday as he was introduced to the Thai media.
Only winners from each of eight groups as well as four best runners-up will progress to the third and final round of the World Cup qualification. Thailand will open their campaign against Vietnam on September 5 in a home match.
This means that Nishino will only get to spend 10 days with his new players before the World Cup Qualifiers opener. However, the 64-year-old said that he is not worried about the lack of time for preparations.
China 0-1 Thailand – Chanathip goal
“I have no worry. I was asked this same question when I was assigned to coach Japan two months before the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia last year. The team made it to the Round of 16,” said Nishino who will also coach the U-23 side at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games and 2020 AFC U-23 Championship.
(Photo courtesy: FA Thailand)