Reid leaves Thailand as dual role plan is rejected

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The Independent Online

Peter Reid has parted company with Thailand by mutual consent after agreeing to work with Premier League club Stoke City. Reid had asked to remain as coach of the Asian country alongside his job as assistant manager at Stoke, but Thailand would not accept his proposal, said the president of the Thai football association Worawi Makudi.

"We have agreed to terminate the contract with Peter Reid as our national team coach," he said. "He wanted to work in the Premier League at the same time but we told him it could not work that way. He could not do both, it's impossible."

Stoke were not immediately available for comment but last month manager Tony Pulis said he was hoping to get clearance from the Thai Football Association to bring in Reid as his number two.

Worawi's announcement ends weeks of speculation about Reid's future as Thailand national team coach after he was quoted saying he craved a return to the Premier League, and was photographed wearing a Stoke City kit during a training session on holiday in England.

Reid's no-nonsense style and modern coaching methods earnt him the respect of Thailand's talented but often undisciplined players, who were defeated only twice during 13 competitive games under the Englishman.

Worawi said the ex-Manchester City and Sunderland manager's departure was amicable and Reid was reluctant to leave. "I'm not disappointed, we have a good relationship," said Worawi. "He did a good job for us but this is what he wants and he has a good future in the Premier League."

Reid's assistant, Steve Darby, a former national development manager of Australia's soccer federation, will take over as caretaker coach, Worawi said.

Asked if Thailand would be looking to hire another foreign coach, Worawi said: "We will be looking into that in the near future."

Reid, who was hired to develop the Thai game and steer the team to the 2014 World Cup, will be sorely missed after giving the team a major facelift. However, his activities while in England and his refusal to comment on his future with Thailand left a sour taste in the mouths of Thai fans and the Kingdom's football-obsessed media.

"Even if Reid comes back to coach Thailand, the fans may find it hard to swallow," the mass-circulation Thai Rath newspaper said in a commentary last week. "Reid working for Stoke without prior warning to the Thai Football Association was a slap in the face for the fans."

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