Bangladesh coach Jamie Day announced the team for the Joint Qualifiers of the World Cup and Asian Cup yesterday. The Englishman included two new recruits in his 23-member squad due to the absence of Tapu Barman and Atiqur Rahman Fahad.
Day, who arrived in Dhaka yesterday, made six changes to the squad that beat Cambodia 1-0 in March, drafting in former captain Mamunul Islam, Emon Mahmud, Nasir Uddin Chowdhury and Mazharul Islam Himel while the fresh faces are centre-back Riyadul Hasan Rafi of Saif SC and winger Arifur Rahman of Arambagh.
Tapu, Fahad and goalkeeper Shahidul Alam Sohel were dropped due to injuries while Sohel Rana, Rubel Miah and Manzurur Rahman were left out due to poor form.
“Tapu and Fahad are good players and I will miss them but this is a good opportunity for someone else to come forward. I look forward to seeing Riyadul Hasan, Tutul Hossain Badsha and Yeasin Khan,” Day said at the BFF House.
“It is very important how we work. We want to win against Laos and qualify for the World Cup Qualifiers.I am looking forward to the first match against Laos and hopefully they will perform as well as they did in the past and get a result to qualify for the next round,” Day continued.
The 31-member contingent is scheduled to leave for Thailand today to participate in a 10-day preparatory camp ahead of the away match against Laos on June 6. Bangladesh will also play two warm-up matches against Thai clubs on May 28 and June 1 before departing for Laos on June 3. The 39-year-old believes Bangladesh will still have a chance to recover should they lose to Loas.
“It is also an important match for Laos but we believe we can do better with the squad we have. We want to go into the second leg. If we draw the match, it is good result to bounce back from. If we lose, the game is not over. We will have another opportunity at home. The most important thing is that we can’t give up after the first-leg but if we lose 4-0, then it would be extremely tough at home,” Day opined.