Ace forward Zahid Hasan Ameli heaped praise on new national team football coach Fabio Lopez for helping them increase their mental strength and inspire them to work hard to earn a spot in the final squad. The Bangladesh national football team is undergoing a training session under the supervision of the Italian for their upcoming World Cup qualifier against Kyrgyzstan in Bishkek on October 13.
Among the 41 players of the preliminary squad only defenders — Kesto Kumar, Mohammad Linkon and midfielder Shahedul Alam Shahed didn’t join the camp due to injuries while midfielder Jamal Bhuiyan, who is now in Denmark, is likely to join the camp on September 27.
Striker Enamul Haque was given a one-week rest to recover from hamstring injury.
Lopez is likely to cut the squad short to 23 players today after watching a friendly match between national team and under-19 team at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
Ameli said they are ready to give their best to impress the coach, who only believes in hard work.
‘Coach [Lopez] asked us to work hard and take the friendly match very seriously because he may finalise the final squad after watching the match,’ Ameli told reporters on Tuesday.
‘He [coach] is trying to motivate us and told us not to be scared of any opponents and also not to give up before taking the field.’
Ameli said that they are taking the ongoing training session very seriously after the coach said no one is guaranteed of a place in the final squad automatically.
‘Coach said only hard work will be considered before picking the final squad, so everybody is giving their best to make the final spot,’ said the veteran striker.
‘He [Lopez] said whoever the opponents are, we have to develop the scoring ability,’ said Ameli.
Ameli added that the new coach, who observed Bangladesh’s both World Cup qualifying matches against Australia and Jordan, didn’t like Bangladesh’s very little intention of scoring goals.
‘Against Australia and Jordan we took very little attempt to score as we concentrated mostly in organising our defence first. But the new coach didn’t like our approach and he told us to increase our scoring instinct.’
Speaking about SAFF Championship in December, Ameli requested the Bangladesh football Federation not to experiment too much before such an important tournament.
‘Before the 2013 SAFF Championship everybody was very serious and then experimented with the team several times,’ he said.
‘I personally believe it was one of the main reasons behind the debacle as we were eliminated from the group stage.’
After today’s warm-up match, the national team will go for a two-day Eid break.
The players will return to the training camp on September 27 at the BKSP.
-With New Age input