Speaking exclusively to Maldivesoccer.com today at FARS Hotels & Resorts, Jamie Day, Bangladesh Head Coach stated that the seven-time Champion India, 2008 Champion Maldives & 2005 semifinalist Pakistan are the three favorites team to win this year’s SAFF Suzuki Cup.
The 38-year-old former Arsenal man said that there are higher ranks teams in this tournament than Bangladesh but they will use all the experienced gained from the Asian games to compete in the upcoming SAFF Championship.
“In my personal opinion, India and Maldives will go through from that group and they do have a shot in this tournament. Pakistan is also strong this year. They have got good coach and players playing in Europe too. For me, they are the three teams that will get into the semifinals and the other teams will be looking for the next spot.” Jamie Day Said.
He also stated that his first target is to get out of the group stage and qualify semifinal. Also said that The Asian Games gave him a clear picture of his team and they are not here just to add numbers but to compete against the underdogs.
“Getting the required number of points to get out of the group stage is our first target. And from there we will see how well the other teams does. I also believe I have a strong team enough to compete with the other nations.” Jamie Said.
“We had two training session at Qatar & South Korea with a mixture of new & young players. Plus, some old & experienced players above 30’s and they did really well in the training camp. So I really think we can use their experience as well. The young players had some exposure in the Asian games and they have done really well. Now they have to experience to play in the SAFF Championship and it’s going to be interesting to see how they cope to the atmosphere. It’s a stage for them to show what they are capable of doing and they are not under any pressure from me or anyone. And obviously people of Bangladesh wants us to get as far as we can.” He added.
He also said the support they get from the fans can lift the confidence level of the team. “The Match against Sri Lanka was the best game I had in charged here and there were more than thirty thousand fans in the stadium and ten thousand who could not get into, if they keep backing the team like that, we can make them happy. They can play a big part in the next week in helping us. We don’t want them to think negative if we couldn’t deliver up to their expectations.” former Gillingham FC & Barrow A.F.C Coach also added.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) appointed Jamie Day as the Head coach of the Bangladesh National Football team on 17 May 2018 when the previous coach Andrew Ord’s Sudden departure when they drew 2-2 against Laos in an International Friendly in April.