Day: Good to see lower teams fighting hard

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Day felt the fighting attitude of the teams lower in the table was making the competition healthier

Bangladesh national team head coach Jamie Day was there when reigning champions Bashundhara Kings conceded their first defeat in the Bangladesh Premier League season at the hands of Mohammedan in Cumilla Sunday. On the same day, six-time champions Abahani and Saif Sporting Club were also on the losing side.

Day felt the fighting attitude of the teams lower in the table was making the competition healthier.

The English coach praised the performance of Mohammedan SC, Brothers Union, Sheikh Jamal DC and new comer Police FC, but could not hide concerns over the standard of the league dropping from previous seasons.

“I think the standard is not probably as high as I have seen in previous years since I have been here, but there are probably a number of reasons why. The top teams are suffering more than last year because their better players didn’t get enough rest,” said Day, who took the charge in middle of 2018.

“Brothers [Union] and newly-promoted Police have done well. Sheikh Jamal also struggled last year but they have already won three matches. Mohammedan played exceptionally well. They have been impressive, worked hard and competed for 90 minutes,” the head coach added.

“It is good to see some of the lower teams from last year fighting hard. It is healthy competition if the teams coming into the league are making it more difficult for the teams at the top,” he further said.

Bangladesh Premier League Football observed one of the greatest day of upsets in top flight football as all three joint league leaders Abahani Limited, Bashundhara Kings and Saif Sporting Club lost their respective matches Saturday.https://t.co/PbzIvFCvoI#FOOTBALL #BPL #BFF

Day was addressing the media while at the AFC Women’s Football Day event at BFF Astro Turf Sunday.

India coach Igor Stimac on Friday expressed discontent over the foreign players rule in ISL and I-League, which is similar to the foreign players rule in Bangladesh. Almost all teams in the country field foreign recruits as striker. 

“We have Bangladesh players who don’t play up front. It is the same issue as in India. We need to make changes,” Day said. The coach had expressed a similar sentiment before.

The World Cup qualifier between hosts India and Qatar on March 26 has been postponed due to the coronavirus threat, which is likely to defer Bangladesh’s home tie against Afghanistan on the same day. 

“Fifa comments this week on whether the game should go ahead. The safety of the players and other people should come first. The decision is down to Fifa,” the coach said on the possible postponement of the Bangladesh-Afghanistan tie.

There are also concerns over some national players not getting sufficient game time in the BPL, including Rabiul Hasan, Mahbubur Rahman Sufil. National team captain Jamal Bhuiyan, Matin Mia and Sushanta Tripura have been injured. 

“If the players don’t play regularly it is difficult for me to pick them, but there will not be any big changes. This squad has done very well in the last 18 months, so we may make a couple of changes just to freshen the squad up,” Day said.