Thailand players train before Saturday night’s second leg match of the AFF Suzuki Cup final in Singapore.
Thailand go into the second leg of the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup final tonight against an Indonesian side which has declared itself as the team to beat.
The War Elephants gained a massive 4-0 advantage in the first leg on Wednesday night and are heavy favourites to lift the regional championship trophy for a record-extending sixth time on New Year’s Day.
The match will kick off at 7.30pm (Thai time) at Singapore National Stadium and will be beamed live by Channel 7HD and AIS Play.
Thailand know just how strong of a position they are in and that hefty first-leg advantage will allow the side to be able to express themselves Saturday night, according to coach Mano Polking.
“With the good result from the first leg we feel a little more free and able to play the way that we like and I see no reason to change that. The most important thing just to make it clear again though is that it’s still not over,” Polking said yesterday.
“We need to bring the performance that we know we can and then celebrate after that but it’s still not over and we need to approach things with the same hungry feeling that we have shown throughout the tournament.”
Garudas coach Shin Tae-Yong stopped short of saying that they’ll be able to swing the tie overall but he nonetheless said he has absolute faith that his young team will emerge victorious in the second leg.
“I strongly believe we will win the match tomorrow,” said the Korean tactician.
“Looking back on the first leg, our team was nervous and swayed by the referee’s whistle but that was understandable as they have little experience in big matches.
“Of course Thailand are a strong team and this will be a difficult match but I’m going to win tomorrow and I have complete faith in my team to do so.”
Meanwhile Polking, who is only contracted through to the end of the tournament, confirmed that no talks over an extension have taken place but that he’d love to be a part of what he termed a ‘great’ future for Thai football.
“No, there have been no talks for now because we’re all totally focused on finishing the job,” added the Brazilian.
“If we want to stay as the No.1 nation in Southeast Asia it’s important to have continuity and I hope to be part of that because I can see a great future with a good generation already coming through at U23 level.
“The success that we have had is all down to the players… they’ve done an unbelievable job.”