Monday’s latest covid-19 report of Day came as negative
Bangladesh head coach Jamie Day is ready to focus on the crucial World Cup qualifier against Qatar after recovering from Covid-19 which kept him out of the national team’s preparation for nearly two weeks.
His infection was caught on November 15 during the two-match FIFA friendly series against Nepal. As he missed the second game, his assistant Stuart Watkiss took charge of the dug-out and has been guiding the side since then. Monday’s latest covid-19 report of Day came as negative which prompted Bangladesh Football Federation to ensure his place at Qatar game with only three days left.
“It’s been difficult three weeks in Bangladesh, not my favourite trip over here. It’s been very tough mentally and physically. I have been in room for long period of time. I have symptoms as well which did not help, so it’s been worry,” the 41-year-old tactician summarized his isolated days in Dhaka.
“I’m pleased that it’s over now. I can concentrate on that game for help back, for recovery and focus on that game forward.” he continued through a video message.
Day is expected to fly for Qatar capital on Wednesday. There is three-day mandatory quarantine period after arriving in Qatar. The game is within only two days. BFF said it is working on to minimize the quarantine period to pave way for Day to return at the dug-out.
The rest of the members of Bangladesh team have been in Qatar for 12 days except Nabib Newaz Jiban who joined a week later. Day was virtually connected with the visiting side and aware of team condition that has shorter preparation time than the reigning Asian champions.
“We feel we have got the boys as best prepared as we can in time frame that’s been available so we are going into the game looking forward to it and get experience. It’s nice for me to getting back to the staffs and players and be part of the team again,” said Day.
Bangladesh played a couple of practice matches against two local clubs at the Aspire Zone, losing both, first 3-2 against Qatar Military team, before 1-0 against Lusail, a second-division club.
The coach seemed happy with the matches despite the losses.
““The boys have done very well in two practice matches. It was not the results but the match fitness which was the aim.”
The English coach seemed to be content with the team preparation in his absence and wants to carry out where it was. “I wouldn’t change so much. It had been in good hands already under experienced Stuart. He has done fantastic job. I’m just looking forward to see everyone again. It would be nice to be on the side on pitch watching the game and back involved.”
Bangladesh lost to Qatar 2-0 during the home leg in Dhaka on October 10, 2020. Qatar are leading the standings of Group E, which also has Oman, Afghanistan and India, while Bangladesh are at the bottom.