KOLKATA: The Bangladesh National Team landed in Kolkata today for their forthcoming FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifier against India slated to be played at the VYBK in Kolkata on October 15, 2019. In an interview, Jamie Day, Bangladesh National Team Head Coach spoke at length about the benefits of arriving early, the strengths of his team, his assessment of the Indian Team, and much more. EXCERPTS:
You head to the match against India after back to back Friendlies against Bhutan, and the match against Qatar. How much will that help your team?
The 3 matches have helped us immensely to maintain our fitness. We also got the chance to work on a few ideas during the friendly matches. The Qatar match was extremely tough. We look forward to carry all the positives into the match against India.
Bangladesh have always been a talented team but have somewhat underachieved in recent times. What have you instilled into the squad since taking over?
I think we have become stronger as a team, and are much organised at the moment. All of that has made us a difficult team to beat. But we also intend to build on that, and make no mistake — we have now learnt how to win matches since I have taken over.
You have quite a lot of U-23 players in the squad, much like the Indian squad.
The U-23 Bangladesh boys did exceptionally well in the Asian Games. We wanted to test and push them further. But at the same time, I also believe you need some experience around them to help guide during camps, and International matches.
What do you make of the current Indian Team?
I have seen the progress India has made in recent times. In fact, the team made great strides under an English coach before Igor Stimac took over. I haven’t met or spoken to Igor. But I am looking forward to meeting him soon.
How much excited are the Bangladesh camp to be playing in Kolkata – after all, everyone in the city speak the same language, have the same culture, cuisine, folk, literature, etc.
Yeah, I have heard about that. We are really excited about the match. The bonus stays that it is being held in Kolkata. It will be a fantastic experience for everyone involved, including the fans.
You are arriving early on 11th in Kolkata with your team. How much will early acclimatization help?
I think getting over straight after the Qatar game gives us a few days to settle down, prepare, and hopefully help us for the game on the 15th.