Defender Sushanta Tripura believes defence will have to play a key role if Bangladesh are to succeed in the upcoming Bangabandhu Gold Cup, scheduled to take place at the Bangabandhu National Stadium from January 15 to 25.
Tripura, who has staged a comeback to the national team after missing out three World Cup qualifying matches against Qatar, India and Oman due a hamstring injury which he sustained during Bangladesh’s 2-0 win over Bhutan in a final friendly in October last year, said this after yesterday’s training session at the Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club ground.
“Defence is one of our main strengths and we can rely on it, but it is also important to have a good combination between the defence and midfield if we want to not concede goals. The return of centre-back Tapu Barman is a plus point. The reserve-bench has a good backup in absence of any regular defenders. I think the defence will have to play an important role in order to get a good result in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup,” said Tripura.
Since taking over the charge of Bangladesh team in May, 2018, English coach Jamie Day has applied the philosophy of defending well against any opponent and then going for attack to get results. His style has worked well at international level and achieved some praise for good defending against strong sides.
The charges of Day will start their campaign against Palestine on Wednesday. Tripura echoed the sentiment of captain Jamal Bhuiyan, who on Friday said that their target is to earn a point against Palestine before facing Sri Lanka in the group’s final match.
“Palestine are a very strong opponent but we don’t want to lose our confidence before facing them. The coach has been working on defence for a long time and how we defend against Palestine would be clear to us after watching their video footages in the latter part of training,” Tripura said. “We are all ready for the tournament and our target is to win one point against Palestine. They are a really tough team and holding them to a draw will be a good result for us.”
Tripura’s teammate Biswanath Ghosh is confident too about drawing against Palestine, a team to whom they lost 2-0 in the semifinals of the last edition of this tournament in Cox’s Bazar in 2018.
“We have some idea about Palestine and it will help us a bit when playing against them. If we can play in line with the plan, it is possible to hold them to a draw,” said left-back.