Jamie Day looking to play positive football to earn points from FIFA, AFC matches

The Head Coach of the Bangladesh National  Football Team Jamie Day said that his target is to play positive football to earn some points from their next four Joint Qualifiers matches of the FIFA World Cup 2022 and AFC Asian Cup 2023.

As per the new schedule proposed by AFC, Bangladesh will host Afghanistan India and Oman on October 8, November 12 and 17 respectively while they will meet the  Asian champions Qatar in their lone away match on October 13.

“We have four tough games in FIFA, AFC joint qualifiers in October and November. We have to be positive. We are looking forward to collect some points from those matches,” Jamie Day said in an online zoom press-conference on Thursday, arranged by Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF).

“But, first of all we have to get back players and make them fit during the preparation camp. They have been off-field for a long time in the pandemic situation,” he added.

“I was really looking forward to work with BFF again in the future. I’m delighted to have agreed new great deal. It was a really good two years in our first period. I really enjoyed the last two years here, enjoyed some good games. Now, I get back with the boys in camp, getting them fit and ready for the games. BFF decided to call up 44 players, we don’t need so many players for the camp. I will shortlist to 30 to 35 after my arrival,’’ he further said.

“It’s not enough to make players fit with six to eight weeks. But we have better facilities and skilled coaching staff, then we can get some good results. We’ll play our first match against Afghanistan. Most of their players play different European leagues, but I’m not sure whether they are playing matches at this moment. However, we have three home matches, so we will have supporters in the pitch. It will motivate players and help us to secure some points,” the 40-year-old English man said.

League is a guideline for players. But they have not been in the league. So, we need to play some practice matches during our camps. It will be very useful for them. But if it isn’t possible, we will play matches among ourselves split into two teams. Bashundhara Kings will have AFC matches at the same time. They may not release their players that time. BFF need to talk with them,” Coach ended.

Jamie Day became the longest-serving foreign head coach of the national team as BFF extended his contract on Tuesday (June 16) for two years from mid of August 2020 to mid of August 2022.

It was the third time that BFF renewed his tenure after appointing the 40-year-old English man as the coach of the national team and U-23 team in May in 2018.

Earlier, Bangladesh started their campaign in FIFA and AFC joint qualifiers with a 0-1 defeat against Afghanistan in the first match in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe on September 10, conceded a 0-2 goals defeat against Asian champions Qatar in the second match in Dhaka on October 10, played to a 1-1 draw against India in their third match in Kolkata on October 15 and conceded 1-4 goals defeat against Oman in the fourth match at the Seeb Sports Stadium in Al Seeb city of Oman on November 14 last year.

In the five-team Group E, Qatar is now leading the point table with 13 points from five matches while Bangladesh are at the bottom place with one point from four matches. Among others, Oman secured 12, Afghanistan 4 and India 3 points.

National team played a total of 19 international matches while the U-23 team played 11 under his coaching. National side won 8, drew 2 and conceded 9 defeats while U-23 won 3, drew 2 and conceded 6 defeats.

“Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) will hold a residential camp for the national team  next  August. The decision was taken in a virtual meeting of BFF National Teams Committee, headed by its chairman and BFF vice-president Kazi Nabil Ahmed MP, on Wednesday at 12 pm. Deputy chairman of committee and BFF vice-president Tabith Awal, BFF General Secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag, Anwarul Haq Helal, manager of national team Satyajit Das Rupu, technical director Stuart Paul Watkiss and Imtiaz Hamid Sabuj were also present there.

BFF decided to initially call 44 booters and coaching staffs at the first week of August, who will be isolated for 10 to 15 days and undergo a COVID-19 test before starting the camp. After that, some 30 to 35 booters will be shortlisted for the final camp which is expected to kick-off at the mid of August.

The isolation training camp will be held at a safe venue in Dhaka or outside of the city. National booters have been off-field for a long time, so that BFF will try to arrange some practice matches against foreign teams at foreign soil as a part of the preparation for booters.UNB