Former England international Peter Reid has agreed to a four-year contract to coach Thailand's national football team.
|Peter Reid is renowned for his combative style [GALLO/GETTY]
Football Association of Thailand president Worawi Makudi said Reid will be
expected to improve the players' stamina levels.
"I want him to emphasize the fitness of the players and find a trainer to
work with the team,'' Worawi said.
"As this has always been our weakness, we want him to work particularly on this aspect, as well as to teach new strategies and techniques to our players.''
Worawi said Reid is expected to arrive in Thailand in August and lead the
team at the Asean football championships in December, giving him to time to
select players from the Thailand Premier League.
Worawi said Reid's salary was still being negotiated.
Reid replaces Charnwit Polcheewin who resigned after Thailand were dumped out of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers last month after an abysmal campaign, where they finished bottom of their group, losing all but one of their six matches.
Worawi, a FIFA executive committee member, said their plans for the 2014 finals began immediately after they were eliminated.
"It's our long term plan. We need big changes right now and we don't want to make the same mistakes as before," he said.
"We can't afford to waste time. We have the talent and can go far if we are shown the right way, and Peter can do that."
Reid has not managed a team for three years and has been working as a television commentator.
His previous jobs have all ended in sackings, which Worawi dismissed as "ups and downs".
Thai media have been in a frenzy since the Thai FA said they wanted a "big name" to take over the struggling national side.
Serbian Bora Milutinovic, dubbed a "miracle worker" having steered five countries to the World Cup, Brazilian Carlos Carvalho, Austrian Alfred Riedl and former Fulham and Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez had all been linked with the post.
However, Worawi said Thailand had approached only Reid and Holger Osiek, who was assistant to Franz Beckenbauer when Germany won the 1990 World Cup.
Osiek, he said, wanted to stay in Europe.
Worawi would not reveal how much Reid was being offered but he was hopeful Manchester City's billionaire owner Thaksin Shinawatra, the controversial former Thai prime minister, would help foot the bill.
"Thaksin loves football, he loves his country and he has offered to help us, with anything," he said.
Thailand have dominated Southeast Asian football but have struggled to make the step-up to world level, which former coaches say is because of the players' size and poor discipline.
Worawi liked Reid's no-nonsense style and said the often sensitive Thai players had to accept it.
"We need a tough coach to give them discipline. They have to be committed and do things his way, or they're out.
"Getting to the World Cup is the wish of the Thai people so we need to make that happen."