Schafer optimistic about Thai football despite loss

The German coach was satisfied with his team's fighting attitude despite their defeat in the AFF Suzuki Cup final, and claimed Thailand's future football prospects still look good.
By Teng Kiat

Despite his side winning 1-0 on the night, Thailand coach Winfried Schafer had to settle for a runners-up finish in the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup after a 3-2 defeat on aggregate against Singapore.

The home side dominated the game at the Supachalasai Stadium in Bangkok earlier tonight, but could only score once through striker Kirati Keowsumbut’s first-half header.

Claiming that his opponents “tried wasting time” in the match, the German was nevertheless pleased with his side’s efforts.

“Congratulations to Singapore for being champions, and thumbs up for all of us for [our] full 100 per-cent fighting effort. We had many chances to score the second but it is clear that we are sore from the long league season,” he said at the post-match press conference.

“I am tired…but we put [in our] full effort for this occasion. Honestly, I do not like being second because I want to be the winner.

‘Our title position slipped through from the 3-1 loss in Singapore [but] today we played well despite them wasting time.”

When asked whether he would quit as manager, Schafer claimed that he was not someone who will quit halfway said that he has plants to “develop in the future”.

The 62-year-old also maintained belief in his team, whom he claimed could match up to other Asian football giants in the future.

“I am confident that Thailand has many talented youth players that will enhance the team’s strength. I’ve always believed that we have a good style of play. Our team is strong and looking into the future, we have to be in the same level as Japan and South Korea,” he said.

“The next upcoming game is in March, [which is an] Asian Cup qualifying [match]. Anything is possible, and we have to be successful.”