Former Socceroo, Robert Cornthwaite believes that star player, Chanatip Songkrasin’s power among the playing stocks will go a long way in turning around Thailand’s Asian Cup campaign.
Thailand, who are fresh off a 4-1 defeat to India in their opening game of the tournament sacked coach, Milovan Rajevac at the conclusion of the match and Cornthwaite who spoke on Evenings on FNR believes that if their star-man can be onside with new manager, Sirisak Yodyardthai it can help turn their dwindling campaign around.
“Being a local coach, you can expect him to know the players very well and when a coach takes over at this time in the tournament and it is about raising morale,” Cornthwaite said.
“Chanathip Songkrasin is the star of the show & wields a lot of power. If the new coach can get him onside & make him happy, the rest will likely follow.”
Cornthwaite, who now works for Fox Sports Asia and spent time playing in south-east Asia before retirement also believed that Rajevac’s pragmatic approach may have been a key reason behind his dismissal.
“Going back two or three years, Thailand was playing a style which could really help progress them in the Asian region,” Cornthwaite said.
“The consequence of that style of that football is being a bit more open at the back,”
“I think that over the course of the year or two that he was in charge it had a negative impact on the team and they lost all that attacking impetus that they had.”
However, the former Adelaide United defender believes that they can still qualify for the next stage but believes they have a mountain to climb in order to make it via finishing third in Group A.
“I think Thailand are still good enough to finish third but as you say, that minus goal difference certainly is worth one point less now at this stage.” Cornthwaite said.
Thailand will next face Bahrain on Thursday night at 10 PM (AEDT) in Matchday Two of their Asian Cup campaign.