MANILA, Philippines – Winfried Schafer, the coach of the Thailand national football team, admits he is concerned about how his squad will play against the Philippine Azkals in the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup.
In a report on the Bangkok Post, Schaefer said the Azkals will be a tough opponent when they play in the opening match on November 24 at the Rajamangala National Stadium.
“They are well prepared for the tournament,” Schaefer said of the Azkals. “They have strong and tall overseas-based players. They seem to have a good system, and their players understand each other well.”
Schaefer is aware of the Azkals’ victory against Singapore in a recent friendly and said that his players “must not underestimate” the Filipino booters.
“We still have time to prepare for the match against them. But if our key players are fit and play according to our plan, then I’m sure that we will win,” he said.
Thailand and Philippines were drawn in Group A along with Vietnam and Myanmar in what is widely considered as the “Group of Death” in the Suzuki Cup.
The top two teams from each group will advance to the semi-finals.
The Azkals, who arrived in Bangkok yesterday, are hoping to build on their achievement in the 2010 Suzuki Cup, when they made it all the way to the semi-finals.