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Nishino wants Thailand to soar

Tokyo: Akira Nishino knows what his target as Thailand head coach is - that the Southeast Asians reach Japan's level. 

"I want to build up the team so we can compete well against Japan," said Nishino, who guided Japan to the Round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

"I was honoured to receive this offer. I went to Thailand in June and I could recognise their great passion. Thailand has potential. First, we will work to become leaders in Southeast Asia."

Football Association of Thailand President Pol.Gen. Somyot Pumpanmuang was present at Nishino's unveiling in Tokyo on Friday.

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Nishino's first assignment will be to prepare Thailand for the second round of the Asian Qualifiers for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

Thailand are in Group G with the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

"I want to contribute and guide them to the World Cup," Nishino said. "I need to build a solid understanding of how things are in Thailand."

Nishino will also be in charge of Thailand's U23 team.

Photo: AFP

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