Captain Jamal Bhuiyan today said that the players of the national football team are not yet fully fit for this month’s international friendlies against Nepal but the players of Bashundhara Kings are in better shape physically than the rest of the players.
“To be honest, the team is not fully fit as today we played a match amongst ourselves and there were a lot of problems. To be honest, we have to toil hard and do a lot of running before we achieve full fitness,” Jamal told the reporters after today’s practice session at Bangabandhu National Stadium.
The national booters started the fitness and preparatory training on Oct 24 for the November 13 and 17 matches against Nepal and Jamal joined the camp on Friday after arriving here on Thursday from Denmark. British coach Jamie Day and two other coaches also joined camp on Sunday following their negative reports of Covid-19.
“We are having practice after a long gap and played a match today. I think the players of Bashundhara Kings are comparatively more fit than the rest of players, who did not get the opportunity to practice with the team like the Bashundhara players did,” said Jamal hoping they will be fit and ready in the coming days before the friendly matches.
Jamal said that all the players are hungry for a triumph over Nepal, who beat them twice on home ground.
“If we want to put up a good performance, we have to do well in both tactical and technical aspects,” Jamal said. “We all are hungry for a victory because everyone reminded us that we lost to Nepal twice, so this things are in our minds and we want to win the matches.”
Assistant coach Stuart Watkiss said the fitness of the players are improving.
“They are not anywhere close to be hundred percent or where we would like the fitness level to be but they are improving.
“More football training and training with tempo are what we need to do to improve fitness. You do that alongside gym sessions. But the best way to get them match fit is by playing games at the bigger area where they can do more running quickly and bigger distances. That’s the best way to get them football fit in a short space of time,” said Watkiss, who has basic idea about the playing style of Nepal.
“We have watched recent Nepal games so we have general idea of how Nepal would play. Our work really starts from the technical side of the team. In next 3-4 days, we will concentrate on fitness and just allow the lads time to get used to being in the training grounds, getting lots of touches with the ball and get the mind thinking quickly and adjusting to bigger distances. So, the tactical side will be fully ready in that department but we don’t want to use tactics another 3-4 days yet,” said the British coach.