Nishino sets high goal for Thailand after the contract extension
National team coach Akira Nishino and the Football Association of Thailand on Wednesday agreed to a two-year contract extension, FAT president Somyot Poompunmuang said.
The Japanese Nishino, who oversees the Thai senior and U23 national sides, began his reign in Thailand in July and the current contract expires later this month.
The new agreement will be signed tomorrow at a press conference tomorrow, Somyot said.
Under Nishino, the Thai senior team got off to a good start in the second qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup.
The U23 team, which had been three-time defending champion, suffered a first-round exit at the SEA Games last month.
However, the junior war elephants headed back to the quarterfinals before losing to Saudi Arabia in the current U23 U23 Championship.
Nishino got a new contract thanks to the performance of Thailand at the AFC U23 event.
Somyot said it takes time for Thailand to reach a different level, but the national teams under Nishino, particularly the U23 team, have had satisfying results.
Nishino said: "When I decided to train Thailand, I knew that it would be difficult and challenging. The work didn't go very smoothly, but I think Thai players have potential. We have to keep developing.
"I'd like to see better results from the Thai teams. The FAT wants to see Thailand go to the 2026 World Cup and I want to be part of the team. I want to help lift the standard of Thai football."
When asked about the qualifying round for the 2022 World Cup, Nishino replied that Thailand would have to win all three remaining Group G matches to stand a chance of advancing to the next qualifying phase.
Thailand host Indonesia on March 26, travel to the UAE on June 4 and are at home against Malaysia on June 9.
The group's eight winners and the four best finalists advance to the final qualification stage of 12 teams from the continent for Qatar 2022.
"We have no choice but to win the three remaining matches. We will have two home games, "said Nishino.
"We will have more players to select because some U23 players did well at the AFC championship. This will help make the senior team stronger."
Nishino, 64, guided Japan's junior team to the 1996 Olympics and steered the country's senior side to the last 16 round at the 2018 World Cup.