Chonburi: Chonburi head coach Withaya Laohakul called on his side to produce a focused performance when they entertain Sriwijaya in the last 16 of the AFC Cup at Chonburi Stadium.

Defender Darko Rakocevic is suspended for the clash and Withaya underlined he expects a professional performance from his men.

“To write smart tactics on the board doesn’t do anything,” he said.

“The players must perform as planned if we are going to win tomorrow.”

Withaya also believes the Sharks have the capability to chase success in both the AFC Cup and the Thai Premier League.

“I think both goals can be achieved,” he added.

“I want my players to play at 75% of their capacity in both competitions and I think we can win both.”

Withaya does not expect the title race, where Chonburi are six points behind undefeated Buriram PEA but with a game in hand, to heap extra pressure on his players as the continental tournament enters the knockout phase.

“My players are experienced enough to leave all those side issues off the field before they lace up their boots,” he said.

Chonburi have also seen a number of key players recover from injury, leading Withaya to joke about the team he may field on Wednesday.

“Our subs all performed well in training, but hopefully I won’t have to use all three of them tomorrow,” he said.

Chonburi finished their Group H campaign with a 3-0 defeat of South China in Hong Kong as they topped the table and earned a home tie in the knockout stage.

Sriwijaya’s talismanic striker Keith Gumbs will also be suspended for the clash but Withaya does not expect his absence to affect the outcome.

“I’m pretty sure they have speedy young replacements who can tear down the wing, so I don’t think we are gaining an advantage from the suspension,” he said.

Sriwijaya assistant manager Kas Hartadi admitted to win in Chonburi would be hard but emphasised the team has trained well for the encounter.

In addition, he was coy about the team’s plan to replace Gumbs.

“We have a secret weapon to replace our suspended striker, but we can’t name him here,” added Hartadi.

“I am confident we can advance to the quarter-final round, because our fast-paced pressure strategy can work on the road.”

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