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Oct 16, 2009

Robson excited by Thailand challenge

Former England and Manchester United captain Bryan Robson promised to give 100% in his new role after being unveiled as Thailand coach today.

The former Middlesbrough, Bradford, West Brom and Sheffield United boss has signed a four-year contract to succeed ex-England team-mate Peter Reid, who left last month to become assistant manager at Stoke.

And with back-to-back Asian Cup qualifiers against Singapore looming next month, Robson and assistant Steve Darby must get to work quickly.

The 52-year-old, who will meet the Thai team for the first time at a training camp next weekend, admitted he is relishing the prospect of a return to management.

"I have had 12 years of experience as a manager throughout my career from when I left Manchester United," Robson said. "And from 1994 to 1996 I worked with the national team in England under Terry Venables.

"That was one of the most enjoyable jobs I have had and it was great to work with the national team. It was great working with all the best players in the country and that's what I'm looking forward to in Thailand now, to work with the best players in Thailand and hopefully get some success.

"I know that I have great support from the FA, and also my assistant who worked under Peter Reid, Steve Darby. He knows the players, he can speak the language and I know that in the early stage of my career that will be very helpful.

"I know that we have two very important games coming up against Singapore. I know the importance of those two games. The one thing that Thai people can be guaranteed of is that I will try to give 100%.''

After spending his entire playing and coaching career in England, Robson is ready to deal with the cultural differences in Thailand and has already had several discussions with Reid, who oversaw a revamp in the national team set-up during his one-year tenure.

Reid was charged with guiding Thailand to a first World Cup finals appearance in 2014, although Robson insists his main focus is qualifying for the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar with Thailand currently third in Group E.

"I have had three meetings with Peter Reid on what you can and can't do to get the respect,'' he added. I respect the culture of Thailand. For me, you have to adapt to work with the players to get the best out of them and that's what I will concentrate on.

"I still have got to watch some of the latest games, but I know that Thai players have very good technique and I want to try and play a patient passing game.

"The friendly games leading up to the games against Singapore are always important, but it is important to get a team shape before the Singapore game because that's the one that really counts.''

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