Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Robson regards Therdsak as a key man

JAKARTA: Thailand coach Bryan Robson has lauded the positive influence that Therdsak Chaiman has had on his team and likened the veteran Thai playmaker to ex-England international midfielder Paul Scholes.

Therdsak is one of only two members of the current squad, along with midfielder Sutee Suksomkit, who played in Thailand's last victorious AFF Suzuki Cup campaign in 2002. Indeed he started in all five matches for his country that year and was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after the Thais beat Indonesia on penalties in the final in Jakarta.

But according to Robson, reputation alone was not the key factor in his decision to include the Chonburi player in his final 22-man squad

"He has an influence because of his vast experience and because he's a great professional. That rubs off on the young players," said Robson.

"But he's still also got a lot of great ability. Therdsak can change a game because he can create a goal and he can score a goal out of nothing. So that's why he's in the squad."

At 37, Therdsak is at least five years older than the rest of his teammates although Robson has insisted that he is unconcerned about the age factor.

"Sometimes age doesn't come into it. If you love the game and you train hard and you're dedicated for the game, that's what counts," the former England skipper said.

"Therdsak for Thailand is like Paul Scholes for Manchester United. They're the same age and Therdsak loves the games just as much as Scholes loves the game. That's why Therdsak can still do a great job."

Robson is also hoping that some of the good fortune that followed Therdsak when the Thais last won the title in Jakarta eight years ago will rub off on his side.

"Let's hope he proves lucky for us again this time," Robson quipped.

Source - AFF Suzuki Cup

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