Thailand team manager Anucha Nakasai believes his squad can progress through the third-round 2014 World Cup qualifying group.The Thais, who are currently coached by German Wilfried Schaefer, were drawn in Group D to face Australia, Saudi Arabia and Oman, with the top two sides to progress to the fourth and final round of Asian Football Confederation qualifiers for Brazil 2014.
Thailand, who are ranked 119th in the world, only just scraped past Palestine (166th in the world) 3-2 on aggregate to reach the third round of qualifiers.
However, Nakasai told the Bangkok Post that he believed Thailand could upset the “slow” Australians and could take on Frank Rijkaard’s Saudi Arabia “without any problem”.
“They are admittedly all strong teams but at least we didn’t get Japan or South Korea,” Anucha said.
“Australia play a high standard of football, but I think we can give them a good game.”
“The Australian players are tall but they are a bit slow. I think we have the speed with our short-passing game to upset them, but of course it will be difficult.”
He added on Saudi Arabia: “They have lost a lot of their best players and I think we can take them on without any problem.
“If we can get six points from Oman we have a good chance of advancing.”
Football Association of Thailand president Worawi Makudi was more cautious about the team’s chances and added they would prepare for the qualifiers with friendlies against Middle East nations.