Bangladesh confident

Bangladesh, 03 Dec 2009 - It's been three weeks since the sacking of Brazilian coach Edson Silva Dido over his selection choices, but it seems his presence still lingers and casts a dark shadow over Bangladesh football and everyone is concerned whether Bangladesh can regain regional supremacy and end a six-year draught.

Bangladesh's official press briefing also centred partly around Dido and the obvious question was raised whether Bangladesh would be able to regain the title after terminating their coach prior to such a big tournament.

"Dido is now past and his sacking doesn't put us under any pressure," Bangladesh team manager Satyajit Das Rupu said. "Now I can say Bangladesh will play SAFF Championship with our best players, who have no lack of commitment."

Bangladesh's captain-cum-goalkeeper Aminul Haq, though, acknowledged the contribution of Dido who had a two-month long conditioning and residential camp in order to make the players stay fit throughout the year.

"We've had two month's training under the guidance of Dido which has helped the players in the domestic competitions. Besides, we were in action after the camp and those things have been inspiring us towards playing better football in front of the home crowd."

Aminul, country's number one goalkeeper, informed that he has had talks with every player and they are all committed and want a repeat of 2003.

"After having talked with the players, it seems to me that all the players are committed to do well and I believe we are capable of emerging champions at home. The onus now rests on us, the players," said Aminul.

Interim coach Shahidur Rahman Shantoo is also optimistic with his charges and promised to take the hosts to the final.

"During my 19-day camp, I have tried my best to solve technical problems the boys had before and also tried to rectify their mistakes through three practice matches and I am confident about reaching the final," said Shantoo.

Shantoo has already studied his group opponents Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Pakistan and he believes that all the teams are of similar strength.

"From what I have heard about our opponents, I can assure you that we will play better football than them and if the boys can execute my plans during the matches, it is very much possible to emerge as champions."

Bangladesh were eliminated from the group stages in the last edition of SAFF championship after playing a 1-1 draw against Bhutan, a 2-2 draw against Afghanistan before going down 1-0 to Sri Lanka in the final group match.

However, Bangladesh under the guidance of Dido broke their three-years winless streak handing a 1-0 defeat to Cambodia during the AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers early this year at home.

source: The Daily Star