After seeing his side go gown 3-1 to Singapore in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup final on Wednesday evening, Thailand coach Winfried Schafer believes that his players will know how to cope in the return leg on Saturday.
The former Karlsruher SC coach will be familiar with overturning first-leg deficits, having done just that in a UEFA Cup Round of 32 tie in 1993 during his time at the German club.
Then trailing 3-1 to Valencia CF on aggregate, Schafer led his side to a stunning 7-0 home victory over the Spanish side in the second leg to complete an amazing turnaround.
The German will hope the War Elephants can pull off a similar feat, and claimed at the pre-match press conference earlier this morning that the crowd support at the Supachalasai Stadium would be crucial.
“We [have] studied the first leg through and through [and] now we know how to deal with Singapore's air raids. I believe all 22 players have what it takes [and the] supporters in the stadium will help us to win this,” Schafer bullishly said.
“Now, I don't know what the meaning of losing is.”
Citing midfielder Adul Lahsoh’s ‘amazing’ goal as an example of the football they were capable of, Schafer called on his players to produce more of such scintillating play.
“He stole the ball in our own half and ran forward passionately [and] then scored. We'll never lose if everyone can perform this way,” he said.
When asked about the monetary incentives for the Thai squad to win, Schafer dismissed the idea that his players were motivated by such rewards alone.
“Our players have the passion to win. The bonus doesn't matter, but the spirit is [there]. We're not running for the money, but the victory, the supporters, the pride, and the country,” he proclaimed.