Palami says Dooley job not on the line, but coach under pressure to lead Azkals to Suzuki Cup title
Azkals manager Dan Palami is hoping the Azkals, this time under Thomas Dooley, would finally finish on top of the AFF Cup. Jerome Ascano / Jaime Campos

WHILE assuring Thomas Dooley’s job is safe, Philippine men’s football team manager Dan Palami expects nothing less than the best from the Azkals coach in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup in Hanoi.

Expectations have been high since Dooley signed a one-year contract in February, but the German-American mentor has yet to lead the Azkals to a title, steering them to two bridesmaid finishes in their last two tournaments — the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup and the Philippine Peace Cup.

Palami hopes Dooley, the Azkals’ third coach since 2010 after Simon McMenemy of Scotland and Michael Weiss of Germany, would finally leads the team to a coveted title in their last tournament of the year, although he stressed his job is not on the line.

“What I want to see is how well we play,” said Palami. “Even with the best game we have, we might hit the crossbar eight times and the opponent doesn’t even have as many chances expect one and they convert it.”

“So medyo hindi rin natin pwede i-blame yung coach ’dun.”

“But of course, a lot of pressure is on his shoulders, kasi he was hired to bring us a title,” Palami was quick to add.

Dooley, a former skipper of the US in the World Cup, and his Azkals face Laos in their first match of the tournament.

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