Thailand international Tanaboon Sesarat has identified bravery and alertness as the key ingredients for the Kingdom to successfully defend its AFF Suzuki Cup title.
The 25-year-old Bangkok Glass midfielder featured in the team that won the last two Suzuki Cups, in 2014 and 2016, and will again be one of its most experienced players in the Asean tournament that runs from November 8 to December 15.
“Bravery is one of the essential factors. When you play for the country, there’s a lot of pressure out there. If you fear and feel stiff, it will affect your performance a great deal,” said Tanaboon, who was also a member of the 2013 and 2015 SEA Games gold medallist teams.
With many younger players being recruited this year, Tanaboon also warned they need to be alert at all times and that letting their guard downs, even for a moment, could derail all their plans.
“Never take it easy. Even an easy game can suddenly go bad if you are not careful,” he said. “You can end up losing in just a fraction of second.”
Although Thailand have won five of the last 10 Suzuki Cups, Tanaboon reckons their rivals will be extra motivated to break their stranglehold on the tournament.
“It’s been so tough to win the last two times. Every team is determined to overthrow us as the No 1 in this region. On the bright side, when they push us to the limit, we are motivated to improve even further,” he said.
Meanwhile, national coach Milovan Rajevac now has his entire 27-man squad in camp after Buriram and Chiangrai ended their FA Cup final commitments at the weekend.
“From now on the training will become harder as we need to work on the physical toughness of the players. We will also focus on both the offensive and defensive aspects of our game,” the Serbian said.