• Friday, Oct 22, 2021
  • Last Update : 04:03 am

Watkiss content with clean sheet

  • Published at 10:07 pm November 17th, 2020
Watkiss
Bangladesh assistant coach Stuart Watkiss reacts during their second friendly against Nepal in Dhaka Tuesday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

Watkiss was the head coach of many clubs in England and India since the early 2000s but never a national team before

Stuart Watkiss usually emphasized more on the defensive side of things as the assistant coach of Bangladesh since his recruitment over two and a half years ago. 

Tuesday's Fifa friendly against Nepal was the first time he took charge of a national team in the dug-out and the English coach was pleased with the booters for keeping a clean sheet.

Bangladesh were not at their best like in the opening half of the previous game where they won 2-0 but Watkiss wants to look at the positive aspects after an eight-month break from competitive action due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It was a difficult game against a good team. Nepal played very well but also the game was played after a long period and I’m pleased with the boys,” said the 54-year old English tactician after the goalless draw.

“We passed the ball quite well. There were some good spells but unfortunately couldn’t create chances we would have liked. It was a really good game and a fair result. I’m pleased that we kept a clean sheet,” added the former Walsall defender.

Watkiss was the head coach of many clubs in England and India since the early 2000s but never a national team before.

Bangladesh captain Jamal Bhuiyan celebrates with the trophy Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik Wishing quick recovery of head coach Jamie Day who tested Covid-19 positive, Watkiss said, “It was a great honor for me to be in charge of the Bangladesh team where I was always a member. It’s a shame that we couldn’t get the win but equally, I thought it was a well-earned draw.”

He admitted that the players are still working on their fitness and that the two friendlies are good preparation for the team before the tough away game against Qatar next month.

“It helps massively because we had not played for seven or eight months. It was a long time to go without football. The two games approved were obviously very worthwhile,” he said.

Nepal head coach Bal Gopal Maharjan said they played better than the previous game. 

He was also pleased with his side’s performance despite lack of preparation. 

He said, “I’m really thankful to the players. I appreciate them for this kind of performance after only two weeks of preparation.”

Bangladesh are expected to fly for Qatar Thursday to play the 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup joint qualifying fixture against the Asian champion on  December 4.

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