Confusion surrounds the future of Port FC head coach Gary Stevens after reports emerged that he had been sacked by the struggling Thai Premier League (TPL) club.
Port FC had announced on Wednesday that former TOT SC coach Somchai Subperm had joined the club as manager. The club statement suggested that Somchai's experience would help support Stevens in his coaching role.
Former England defender Stevens created intrigue later in the day by telling his Twitter followers about 'the football pantomime' he had experienced and remarked that 'you'll have to wait for the announcement'.
Thailand's English language daily, the Bangkok Post, then reported on Thursday morning, 'Somchai replaces former Tottenham star Gary Stevens'.
As discussion of the news broke out on Twitter, Stevens moved to reassure fans that he was still in charge, sending a picture of himself preparing for Saturday's game against Bangkok Glass. On Thursday evening, Port FC's Twitter account posted a picture of the day's training session, in which Stevens appeared to be calling the shots.
The former Army United head coach joined the Port Lions just over a month ago, with the club near the foot of the table. In that time, the team have played six TPL games, winning just once and losing the other five.
If I told you about the football pantomime I've experienced today you wouldn't believe me, you'll have to wait for the announcement !! ⚽️ !!
- garystevens (@GaryStevensUK) July 22, 2015
Despite the results, most fans have been positive about Stevens' impact so far, highlighting the better organisation in defence, which has seen them concede just six goals as many matches, with all losses coming by a one-goal margin.
It is in attack that Stevens' side have struggled more, but the club had secured the signing of several players who are eligible for TPL action when the second leg of the season begins next week.
The arrivals of Wuttichai Tathong and Kayne Vincent (on-loan from Buriram) are expected to add firepower in Port's battle for survival.
Whether or not Stevens has the opportunity to lead his side into that battle remains to be seen. Port FC have already got rid of two coaches this season, with Somchai Chuayboonchum and Paiboon Lertvimonrut having been shown the door .
Having been sacked as Army head coach despite an impressive start to the season, Stevens is very familiar with the lack of logic in the decision making at some TPL clubs. For it to happen for the second time in the space of three months would be a real test of his faith in Thai football.