Thailand coach Milovan Rajevac is optimistic of his team’s chances at the Asian Cup 2019 where they are placed alongside hosts UAE, Bahrain and India.
The War Elephants take on India at the Al Nahyan Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening and Rajevac wants his side to make a strong start in the continental competition.
“Tomorrow (Sunday) will be our first game in this huge tournament. It’s always important to do well in the beginning and so we know fully well what we aim for,” said Rajevac.
He praised Stephen Constantine’s India who have climbed to the 97th spot in the FIFA rankings after being placed 173rd a few years back.
“India has dramatically improved in last couple years, as the FIFA ranking says, but we will do our best. Our preparation is good. We hope for a good result tomorrow,” he mentioned.
The former Qatar coach pointed that his side are ranked 111th in the world and that he is keen to prove that Thailand can compete against the higher ranked nations.
“All other team in this group are great teams. We are amongst the lowest ranking teams here. This is a chance to prove what we can compete with those placed higher. We're trying to take it game-by-game. Obviously we want to reach the final 16 and so for now our focus will be on India, try to win each match, try to get the best result possible,” he stated.
Thailand suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Oman on January 2 in what was their final practice game ahead of the Asian Cup.
"We're training in UAE for a week now and let's say we have quite good preparation. Facilities are top notch here. We split players into two groups in the warm up match against Oman to give all of them a chance. Now it's all set. We aim for a good result tomorrow."