Ibrahim, who usually plays as left winger for the national team, began the new premier league campaign in the same role, played the second match in attacking midfield before Bruzon brought him back to left wing against Brothers Union Tuesday
Oscar Bruzon calls him “Ibra” everyday and the Spanish tactician’s knack of trying players at different roles to balance the star-studded Bashundhara Kings squad saw Mohammad Ibrahim spend the last season at left-back position. Ibrahim, who usually plays as left winger for the national team, began the new premier league campaign in the same role, played the second match in attacking midfield before Bruzon brought him back to left wing against Brothers Union Tuesday. And the forward repaid the faith with his first brace of the league. The 22-year old talked to Dhaka Tribune Wednesday. Here are the excerpts:
Switching positions and getting goals, how does it feel?
It’s really good to get goals for the club after a long time. I scored my last goal for Kings against the same opponent (Brothers on July 16, 2019) last season. It was my only goal of the season where I played as left back and got fewer opportunities to score, yet, I made around 10 assists.
You played as left back against Uttar Baridhara Club, midfielder against Police Football Club and now as left winger. Which one is your favorite?
The concentration required for left back and left wing positions are almost same but my personal choice is left wing. This is my favorite playing position which I’m more used to. It gives me more freedom and comfort to play.
Mohammad Ibrahim netted a superb brace as Bashundhara Kings returned to winning ways by beating Brothers Union 3-2 in a thrilling Bangladesh Premier League encounter at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka Tuesday.https://t.co/r0S8bFCssH#BPL #FOOTBALL #KINGS #BASHUNDHARA #BFF— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) February 25, 2020
Which role you usually played for other clubs in the league before?
I never stayed for two consecutive seasons at the same club except Bashundhara. I was U-16 player when I joined Bangladesh Muktijoddha Sangsad Krira Chakra (2013-14) before playing for Mohammedan Sporting Club Limited (2014-15), Chittagong Abahani Limited (2015-16), Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra (2016-17), Saif Sporting Club (2017-18) and always played as winger.
The Kings are not at their best so far, is it because the league is more competitive?
Last season it was a one-sided affair where we won almost all matches, but this time we already drew against newly-promoted Police, Abahani drew with Brothers, even [Tuesday’s] match was so close and it was going towards another draw. All 13 teams [except Uttar Baridhara] earned points from first two-three matches. There is no team to take lightly.
Bashundhara have many key players out injured like Matin [Mia], [Masuk Mia] Jony, [Atiqur Rahman] Fahad and we also have one foreign player less in Asian quota. It would be different if we have all of them back.
Jamie Day, the national football team coach, wants to have around five days of training camp in Sylhet before Bangladesh resume their 2020 @FIFAWorldCup and Asian Cup joint qualifying campaign against Afghanistan at Sylhet District Stadium on March 26https://t.co/KggSC3fDYX#BFF— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) February 25, 2020
Your performance in the last Bangabandhu Gold Cup was not as good as the World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifying games, especially against India, yet, you managed a goal against Sri Lanka. Any target to score against Afghanistan on March 26?
I had to play lot of matches for club and country including friendlies and couldn’t get enough time to recover [before Bangabandhu Gold Cup]. Now I feel fresh and more confident after getting goals. I want to carry on this performance to the national team as well, try to score or assist goals against Afghanistan.
Is it possible to beat Afghanistan in Sylhet? How may the home crowd help?
It is not impossible to beat them. We will have home advantage. I made my international debut (as substitute) in Sylhet, against Laos during the 2018 Bangabandhu Gold Cup and played many premier league matches in Sylhet. It’s great to play in Sylhet because of the crowd which we don’t experience in Dhaka, their presence inspire us to do better. The fans give us more spirit in the game. We must utilize this advantage.