Jamal hoping for an electric atmosphere
Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuiyan said he is looking forward to playing in front of a full-house crowd at the Sylhet District Stadium and earn a victory against Mongolia on Tuesday.
Bangladesh will face the East Asian nation in a FIFA friendly, the first time since the onset of the pandemic that spectators will be allowed inside the stadium.
Jamal has played here many times before including the first time when Bangladesh U-23s played against Nepal U-23s in 2014. Although the venue wasn't at the standard it is now, there was no shortage of support for the home fans. In fact, there was so much crowd attendance in that match that the bamboo fences around the pitch broke down eventually.
Jamal apparently enjoyed that atmosphere and is looking for another such atmosphere on Tuesday.
"I personally like this venue because the pitch is much closer to the fans, so it makes playing more enjoyable," the Bangladesh skipper said during the official pre-match press conference toady.
Bangladesh should enjoy the advantage of playing at home against a country that should not be too accustomed to playing in these hot and humid conditions. Following the defeat against the Maldives in a friendly last Thursday, Jamal feels it's of paramount importance to win this fixture in order to instill confidence back into the side.
"We all are disappointed with the defeat. But tomorrow is another game and we'll have to take charge in this match. This is our home ground. The whole country will be looking at us tomorrow and it's our job to perform on the pitch," said the midfielder.
There isn't much between Bangladesh and Mongolia as far as FIFA ranking is concerned. And both teams are coming off defeats in their first matches under a new coach. However, Jamal said he's more focused on performance on the pitch rather than dwelling on rankings or past results.
"When we play, we don't see the ranking. We don't see who's below us or who's above us. We treat all opponents in the same way. And we don't focus on who we have in our team and who we are missing. The coach has his own style and plans and our job is to implement that," the Bangladesh captain said.