Butcher sets World Cup target for Philippines
Terry Butcher (Getty)
Manila - England great Terry Butcher said he was targeting
taking the Philippines all the way to the World Cup after being named head
coach in a shake-up.
Butcher, who will lead the Azkals at their first ever Asian
Cup in January, said in Moscow that the World Cup "is our target for the
"The Philippines is in the Asian Cup. Why can't we look
further on? That what we have to do," Butcher said in a video interview
released by the Philippine team.
Butcher, a veteran of three World Cups who has managed clubs
in England, Scotland, Wales and Australia, was speaking as the current World
Cup got underway in Russia.
Butcher praised his predecessor, former USA captain Thomas
Dooley, who guided the Philippines to their first ever Asian Cup qualification
as well as an all-time high of 115th in the FIFA world rankings.
But he added: "It is okay to (be) reaching a level but
it is horrible and awful to just rest on your laurels at that level."
Butcher compared it to climbing Mount Everest, saying:
"You don't stop halfway up. You want to go right to the top."
Butcher was named late on Thursday as the new coach of the
Azkals - slang for feral dogs - after Dooley's four-year reign ended on March
Although the American won credit for his success, he also
publicly squabbled with one of his players, midfielder Stephan Schrock, who was
Azkals team manager Dan Palami acknowledged that there was
concern about the change in leadership after the achievements under Dooley.
"It's natural. People tend to fear change. That holds
true every time we make changes with the national team," he told
"We don't need to fear change. We have to embrace it.
We need to show everybody that the Philippine Azkals are here to compete and to
show Asia that we belong," Palami added.
Butcher, 59, said he liked the "big challenge", of
working with an emerging team, adding that it had an exciting group of players.
His first major test will be November's AFF Suzuki Cup, the
Southeast Asian championship, before January's Asian Cup, where the Philippines
are grouped with China, South Korea and Kyrgyzstan.