Bangladesh football team head coach Jamie Day expressed his satisfaction over the performances of his charges in their two-match friendly series win against Nepal but felt that his boys are not yet fully ready for their match against Qatar on December 4.
Bangladesh played a goalless draw against visiting Nepal on Tuesday, four days after they won the first game by 2-0 margin at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
The 41-year English coach missed the second match due to COVID-19 infection but watched his charges’ performance on television.
‘Fantastic achievement to go unbeaten in two games with clean sheets and win a trophy with 25-day training,’ an elated Day told New Age on Wednesday.
He lauded all the coaching staff and players for the achievement against a higher ranked team in a series where their main focus was to come back in competitive football after a nine-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic.
‘The matches were about getting back to fitness…For me, we were unbeaten against a team ranked 170…So all are positives…..Everyone performed well,’ he said.
Day, however, said that his charges were currently only at 80 per cent match fitness but expected them to regain full fitness by playing two warm-up matches against Qatar Premier League teams on November 25 and 28.
‘Yes we are 80 per cent fit…We need more games and training. We are still a long way off,’ Day said.
Bangladesh are scheduled to leave for Qatar today without Day for their Group E match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers against the hosts in Doha.
Day, who tested positive for COVID-19 on November 15, will be unavailable until he recovers from the infection and in his absence assistant coach Stuart Watkiss will continue to as the acting boss.
‘Yes will miss some days…I guess [I will be available] when symptoms clear up,’ Day added.
Meanwhile, Nepal team will leave Bangladesh today without their manager Madhusudan Upadhyay as he was found COVID-19 positive in the latest test results which came out on Wednesday.
Madhusudan is now in isolation at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in Dhaka.
Earlier, seven Nepalese players had tested positive for COVID-19 before reaching Bangladesh and defender Ranjit Dhimal was found positive after landing in Dhaka.
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