Thursday, September 24, 2009


Robbo confirmed


Former England captain Bryan Robson is looking forward to the challenge when he begins his reign as the national team coach next month.

Robson agreed to coach Thailand after talks with with Football Association of Thailand (FAT) president Worawi Makudi yesterday.

Robson will start his job on Oct 16 under a four-year contract. He will succeed fellow former England midfielder Peter Reid who left Thailand earlier this month after one year to be assistant manager at Premier League side Stoke City.

Robson's financial terms were undisclosed but reports claimed the former Manchester United skipper will get 600,000 a year.

Robson's first assignment will be Thailand's home and away matches against Singapore in the Asian Cup qualifying round in November.

The 52-year-old Robson is expected to build a squad capable of reaching the 2014 World Cup finals.

"He has agreed to become our coach. He is very happy with what we have offered him," Worawi told a press conference.

"It's a four-year deal. The plan is he will coach Thailand for the Asian Cup, the Olympics and hopefully the World Cup too.

"I told him that he had to take Thailand to the 2011 Asian Cup finals in Qatar. He is also tasked with guiding Thailand to the London Olympics in 2012 and ultimately the 2014 World Cup in Brazil."

Robson, who played in three World Cup finals, has managed English clubs Middlesbrough, Bradford City, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United.

He quit the Blades in February last year and has since become a global ambassador for Manchester United.

During his 13 years at Old Trafford, "Captain Marvel" won two league titles, four FA Cups and the European Cup Winners' Cup. He was capped 90 times by England.

Robson is Thailand's ninth foreign coach since 1976 and the third ex-England international to take the job after Reid and Peter Withe.

In another press conference, Robson said he had not yet signed a contract but will do so soon.
There is a clause in the contract saying that he must be in the position for at least 18 months and Robson said he was pleased with it.

He said he was looking forward to Thailand's matches against Singapore on Nov 14 and 18.

"That is a very important period early on into my job. That is a very good challenge for me straight away. That is what I am looking forward to," he said.

Thailand are currently third in Group E of the Asian Cup qualifying round with two points from two draws with Jordan and Iran. Singapore are the other side in the group.

Asked what suggestions he received from Reid, he said: "Peter said that (assistant national coach) Steve Darby is very good.

"He knows all the Thai players which is very important for me. He is very well organised. That is why I will stay with Steve."

Robson added: "Peter told me that he enjoyed working here. There are some good players. He said I need to get them organised. If we get them organised, then it will be a good team and have a good chance of reaching the Asian Cup finals."

He said Thai players were skilful and dedicated. "I am looking forward to working with the players and I hope they will enjoy working with me.

"I got a list of players which are mainly their nicknames. Over the next two weeks I will have to study and make sure that I know all the players' names which is very important. When I come back here, I'll try to watch as many Thai league games as I can," he said.

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