Southeast Asia Thailand

Rangsan set sights on single-digit spot by halfway mark

The Police Tero FC head coach believes his team can avoid relegation despite the sale of Thitavee and Thitathorn Aksornsri.

3 wins and a defeat from the first 4 games is a solid welcoming sign as The Silver Shields Dragons made their returns to the Thai League. And with football’s return date on the horizon, Rangsan Viwatchaichok is confident his side can avoid relegation, especially after 2 encouraging wins over Ayutthaya United and MOF Customs United.

“I have faith that, in the coming 11 games, if we can continue from where we left off after the first 4 matches, we are more than good enough to finish in the single-digit spot. Despite not having many big-name players, I believe that the boys is strong enough to compete with any side. If we can keep our consistency then there is no need to worry about relegation.”

The former Thai national team midfielder made over a hundred appearances for Police Tero as a player before taking charge as interim head coach on 3 separate occasions. Rangsan’s attention to tactical discipline and preference for counter-attacking was a success during his 3rd spell as interim head coach – picking up the club’s first win of the 2018 season, took them from 17th to 12th and suffered only 4 defeats on the way.

Still, the management decided to hire Totchtawan Sripan, someone with the opposite view of the game, and demote Rangsan. What followed was a run of 5 winless league games and Rangsan was reinstated again, after 9 games later.

Unfortunately, it was too little too late, Police Tero got relegated but, having learned their lesson the hard way, the management stuck by Rangsan – and he brought them up after a year in the second tier.

Thitavee and Thitathorn Aksornsri, 2 highly-rated young defenders, were sold to Port FC to keep the club afloat but how much will the twin’s departure affect the team remains to be seen. Ekkachai Samre is a solid T1 starter quality player should be able to fill in at right-back. On the left, the experience Noppol Pitafai will get the job done while new-signing Natchanon Songduang is a raw-talent and still to be tested regularly against top tier oppositions.

Rangsan was correct for admitting the lack of star power in his team. But on the other hand, this could actually work in Rangsan’s favour. Youngster such as Yodsak Chaowana or Kanokpon Buspakom is much easier to manage than those past their peak. The race to avoid relegation can turn into a dogfight in a blink of an eye thus having a group that is hungry, level-headed and willing to fight for one another could be Rangsan’s being advantage over other head coaches out there.