Lodewijk de Kruif, the Dutch head coach of Bangladesh football team urged to keep the expectations low in the AFC Under-23 Group E Qualifiers scheduled to start from March 27 in Dhaka.
De Kruif and his coaching staff appeared before the press at the BFF House yesterday and informed how he is seeing things. “After 14 days of preparation we are doing very well, we are getting prepared step by step and making progress every day, although we know we have a big role to play in the upcoming tournament, we have to play two very good countries – Syria and Uzbekistan – and let’s say India are on our level but still they are ahead of us.
“Expectations in case of winning games are not very high when facing Syria and Uzbekistan as they are at the moment ranked higher than us,” said De Kruif before adding, “To reach that level we have to play international matches.”
He said, “For us the expectations are to form a good team with organisation specially in the defence, but in football everything can happen, our U-23 team have the experience of playing against very good countries and survive, we will fight for the country and see what opportunities we have.”
U-23 skipper Raihan Hasan also echoed his mentor but vowed to make their presence felt. The national defender said, “We did not train for many days but we have the target of securing at least the runners-up spot and stay alive in the tournament.”
Meanwhile, Christian Schweichler, the German goalkeeping coach who was flown in just few days back, said he has been focusing on the modern mode of goalkeeping.
“These days goalkeeping is a little bit different from the past, it’s not the man standing under the bar especially in high level football, its not just catching the ball, you need special skills, a goalkeeper has to act like a player, he has to read the game, you have to organise the defence, that’s where I am focused on, though I had a short time I hope it will be implemented duly, I want to see them implement what we have talked.”
Bangladesh play Syria on March 27 before facing Uzbekistan on March 29 and India two days later.