'Need to capitalise on their mistakes'
Bangladesh are all set to start a fresh journey under new coach Andrew Ord with hopes of a better showing as the Under-23 side begin their campaign against Jordan in the AFC U-23 Championship Qualifiers today.
The match will start at 7:30pm (BST) at the Faisal Al-Husseini Stadium in Palestine, before the second Group E fixture between hosts Palestine and Tajikistan at the same venue.
It will be Bangladesh's first AFC-organised competitive tournament organised since the senior side's debacle against Bhutan in the Asia Cup Play-off Round last October.
The U-23 booters have been gearing up for the past three weeks and have played practice matches against Dhaka Abahani, and the Nepal U-23 and Qatar U-23 sides and, although they suffered defeats in the latter two, Ord believed the experience gained was of more significance.
From seven matches over the past two editions of the Championships, Bangladesh have failed to post any wins and four years ago Jordan inflicted a 3-0 defeat on their Bangladeshi counterparts in Kathmandu.
"We have reached a point where the majority of the players have played at least 70 minutes in a game, so they should be ready to play for 90 minutes. The first match of a tournament is always important and there will be pressure on Jordan to qualify as group favourites so maybe they will be complacent or nervous and we can gain an advantage," Ord was quoted as saying by a BFF statement yesterday.
Ord is mulling whether to play with a tight, compact defence to surprise 108th-ranked Jordan and cash in on any mistakes they make during the match.
"We have worked on pressing opponents high up the pitch but due to our physical state that is not going to be possible for the full match. So we have also worked on being compact and tight defensively, so we can play two different ways during the match," said the coach, who was seen playing a five-man backline in the practice match against Dhaka Abahani.
"Jordan are slightly more influenced by the European style. They play a quicker tempo and take a more physical approach. We need to capitalise on any mistakes they make and take advantage of our chances," Ord explained about the second seeded team.
"If we can go ahead I think the team is determined enough to keep a clean sheet. But let's not be under any illusions. Everybody needs to rise to the challenge and bring out the best in themselves," concluded Ord.