Nayeem silences critics | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 09, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 09, 2007

Nayeem silences critics

Repeatedly criticised by the media for picking up mediocre players in the national team, Syed Nayee-muddin came out with flying colours in Bangladesh's commendable 1-1 home draw against Tajikistan yesterday.
"We could have won but for that penalty, which was bad for us," said the former India international and coach, who took Zahid Hossain immediately off the pitch after Tajikistan's equaliser from a penalty.
Zahid's foul threw a lifeline to Tajikistan who never looked like scoring with Bangladesh dominating the show at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
"If you compare the strength of the Central Asian teams, this is like a win for us. The players are committed. Despite lack of facilities, the players have proved that if they get more support, they can do anything."
He, however, refused to admit that the conditions were helpful although the Tajiks claimed that they could not play well on a rain-soaked pitch.
"We created many chances and could have scored more goals if the conditions were better," said Nayeem adding that the result will multiply the players' confidence ahead of their second leg match.
"We can now go to Dushanbe with the mid set to win," he told.
Mithu, who for the first time entered international arena during the Merdeka Cup in August when he represented the second-string national side, was happy for a remarkable full international debut.
"If we get support from all we will play better. The conditioning camp in Cox's Bazar has really helped and today we got the result of our month-long hard work," said the midfielder, who has been playing in the Premier League for a decade and also scored against Singapore in the Merdeka Cup in Malaysia.
Tajikistan coach Khabibulloev Makhmadjon was definitely worried as he was looking for the television crew in a bid to get a copy of the video of the match.
"It is a good result because we have a new team. The team that came here last year had experienced players but many are abroad and a few injured. Hope we will get one or two for the match at home," said Makhmadjon.
"The rain was a problem because we could not play our natural game."

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