Nishino urges Thai League clubs to increase playing time for domestic strikers
Thailand’s coach Akira Nishino has called on Thai League clubs to give Thai forwards more chances to play.
Thailand is encountering difficulties in scoring as strikers Teerasil Dang Da and Adisak Krasorn were absent due to injury in their team’s first two World Cup 2022 qualifiers.
Thailand started their campaign with a goalless home draw against Vietnam last week.
The goal drought continued until Buriram United midfielder Supachok Sarachat exploded on Tuesday night in Jakarta with two goals to seal a 3-0 away victory for the Thais against Indonesia.
Thai fans raised eyebrows when Nishino selected Supachai Chaided as the only striker in his 23-man squad but benched the Buriram striker during the goalless draw with Vietnam.
"The reason for selecting only one striker in the team is that Thai forwards do not have many chances to play," explained the veteran coach, who guided Japan to the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
"I urge domestic clubs to give more playing time to Thai strikers so that I can add more of them to the national team,” he added.
"I want Thai strikers to fight for a spot on the starting line-ups of their teams, but the clubs first have to give them more playing time.”
"It's all for the sake of future national teams."
Nishino added that he was keen on helping Thai coaches improve their performance.
"By sending assistant coaches in to observe, I am helping them gain experience and learn new things.
"Coach Totchtawan Sripan was sent to Malaysia to watch their game with the UAE, while Issara Sritaro witnessed the game between Indonesia and Malaysia.
"However, the most important thing is to focus on ourselves. After playing two matches, we have to improve and learn from our mistakes. At the same time, we also have to study how UAE play,” said the Japanese-born coach.
Nishino's first win in an official match as Thailand’s coach has put Thailand on top of Group G with four points after two matches.
The UAE, the top seeded team in the group, placed second with three points. Malaysia is third with three points from two games, while Vietnam is fourth with one point. Indonesia is at the bottom after two straight home defeats.