Bothroyd backs Muangthong to challenge for TPL title

Muangthong United’s new signing Jay Bothroyd believes the club have what it takes to challenge for silverware in the new season.

2013 was a disappointing year for the Twin Qilins as they finished second in the Thai Premier League, six points behind champions Buriram United, and were also eliminated from the FA Cup and League Cup in the semi-finals and Round of 16 respectively.

Determined to ensure there is no repeat in the coming campaign, the club hierarchy has been extremely active in rebuilding the squad during the off-season; shipping out seasoned campaigners such as Panupong Wongsa and Jakkapan Pornsai and bringing in new faces like Wuttichai Tathong and Milan Bubalo.

However, they unveiled their biggest signing on Wednesday when they confirmed the signing of Bothroyd, who has played in the Barclays Premier League with Coventry, Blackburn and QPR and won one cap for England back in 2010.

The 31-year-old, who also spent just over a season in Serie A with Perugia, revealed he had offers to play in some of Asia’s biggest leagues but ultimately chose to move to Thailand as he was impressed by Muangthong’s ambition.

“The first thing I want to do is thank Muangthong for their trust and confidence in my ability,” he said on the club’s official website. “This is a new challenge in my life.

“There were many teams interested in me, including [Barclays] Premier League teams and sides playing in the [UEFA] Champions League.

“There were also Asian sides [interested in me] from the Chinese Super League and the K-League Classic, but I decided to join Muangthong because I was impressed by the team.

“The club is one of Thailand’s most famous and most successful clubs. We are certainly capable of winning the title every season.

“There are plenty of quality players in the team, the management is very professional and the fans are excellent.”

Muangthong coach Scott Cooper expressed his belief that Bothroyd would play a key role in the Twin Qilins’ aspirations for 2014.

“Jay is not only a tall player, but someone with good technique,” he said. “In our last pre-season game, he showed that he can adapt to our football.

“I have no doubt that Jay’s arrival will indeed strengthen us for the new season.”

Bothroyd became the first Cardiff player to represent England when he won his first cap in a 2-1 loss to France back in November 2010.

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