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Teeratep Winothai underestimate Thai's chances at Olympic qualifier

Teeratep Winothai underestimate Thai's chances at Olympic qualifier

Former Thai football star Teeratep Winothai has recently admitted that the chances of Thailand U23 to go deep in the 2020 AFC U23 Championship are not high.

Thailand U23 is the host of 2020 AFC U23 Championship, thus, the Thai Football Federation (FAT) has long invested in the country's youth team with the goal of going deep in the tournament to win a ticket to attend the Tokyo Olympic Games in the same year. They also invite World Cup-class coach Akira Nishino, an experienced strategy to achieve this goal.

However, Thai football infant prodigy Teeratep Winothai once thought that the chances for Thailand U23 to do this is very low. Thailand U23 may be a force in Southeast Asia but compared to Asia giants, they are still in a lower position.

'This tournament is at the Asian level, not Southeast Asia. All teams participating in the 2020 AFC U23 Championship are very strong. The opponents of Thailand U23 in the group stage like Australia U23, Bahrain U23 and Iraq U23 are very classy. The opportunity for Thailand U23 to pass the group stage is very difficult, but not impossible', the 34-member shared.

Teeratep also pointed out that the most difficult problem with Thailand U23 lies in the fact that they fall into a tight table with strong opponents. In particular, the former Thai player described U23 Iraq as the most formidable opponent when described the West Asian team by the phrase 'very difficult to defeat'.

To compete with the strong teams in the table, the 34-year-old said that Thailand U23 needs to show the best quality football in every match. The match against U23 Bahrain is extremely important. If Thailand U23 win 3 points, coach Akira Nishino's team will be very excited in the next 2 matches of the group stage. If the Thai team loses, the player's mentality will be weighed down by the pressure of achievement.

Teeratep Winothai underestimate Thais chances at Olympic qualifier

'The first games are always important for every team. A win will be a good sign for Thailand U23 on our journey. Saying that does not mean that Thailand U23 does not need to win more points in the remaining matches', Teeratep Winothai said.

Teeratep Winothai is a former infant prodigy of Thai football. From a young age, he was sent to young training facilities in England such as Crystal Palace and Everton. After that, he returned to play for many teams such as Muangthong United, Bangkok Glass, Police United... Currently at the age of 34, the player nicknamed Leesaw is still playing for Chonburi in Thai League 1.

In Group A of the 2020 AFC U23 Championship, Thailand U23 will face Bahrain U23 at 21:15 (GMT+8) on January 8th at Rajamangala Stadium. 3 hours earlier, the opening match of the tournament between Iraq U23 vs Australia U23 was held at Thammasat Stadium.