Despite his obvious disappointment at a 4-1 defeat against Oman in their World Cup qualifiers on Thursday, Bangladesh coach Jamie Day was not looking to blame his players.
“Oman are a far better team than we are, far better players. I think they showed that quality. I am disappointed we conceded four goals and I don’t think that was deserved but I cannot blame the players’ effort because they did their best,” the 40-year-old coach said at the post match conference.
After two good performances against Qatar and India, the expectation was high going into the Oman match, but the men in red and green failed to keep that momentum against Oman despite keeping the hosts at bay in the first half.
“We can’t keep expecting them [Bangladesh players] to perform to the levels required every game against better teams. They’re doing their best. They are playing above their maximum in every game. And we can’t expect our players to keep playing at nines and tens every week. It’s impossible. So, I’m proud of how they’ve done.
“The boys defended well but if you give good teams chance, they take it and that’s what happened in the second half,” opined Day.
The English coach believes the same thing might happen when Bangladesh play away to Qatar on another good pitch.
Asked whether Bangladesh should have kept playing defensive football after conceding the lead, Day said, “If you are losing, you have to chase the match in order to get back into the game. So, if you are chasing the game, and when you play against teams like that, they find the space. We could’ve sat back and lost 2-0, but we wanted to score. There are a lot of Bangladesh fans here. We wanted to give them a game for 90 minutes.”
The English coach is, however, looking forward to taking positives from the match and he is happy that his side scored a goal, which he believes Bangladesh deserved.
“I have always said it’s a great experience and learning curve for the players, who don’t need motivating. They’re disappointed, which is a good thing. They’re all disappointed we lost. That shows how far we’ve come. It’s not a negative. We got positives from the game: for a good period of the game, we were playing well against an exceptionally good team. We can always look at negatives and say this and that, but let’s look at the positives,” concluded Day.