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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers | India still overwhelming favorites despite Sandesh Jhingan's absence, opines Jamie Day

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FIFA World Cup Qualifiers | India still overwhelming favorites despite Sandesh Jhingan's absence, opines Jamie Day

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SportsCafe Desk

10/12/2019

Bangladesh head coach Jamie Day has said the Indian team will start as overwhelming favourites in the upcoming World Cup qualifier in Kolkata despite Sandesh Jhingan's absence. The Bangladesh coach also added that he has seen the way the Indian football team has progressed in recent times.

Bangladesh head coach Jamie Day has said the Sunil Chhetri-led side will start as overwhelming favourites in the upcoming World Cup qualifier in Kolkata even though the Indian defence has been inflicted with another injury-induced absence, this time in the form of Sandesh Jhingan.

Jhingan suffered an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tear on his left knee after he limped off around the 10-minute mark during the national teams 1-1 draw in a friendly against NorthEast United on Wednesday in Guwahati. He will have to undergo a surgery that may rule him out for at least six months.

Jhingan is the latest addition to the list of injured players in the Indian team which will also be without Rahul Bheke, who suffered a groin injury earlier this month. But the Bangladesh coach remained pragmatic about his team’s chances in the qualifier against India.

“I don’t see it any different from before that he’s injured. India are at home and expected to win,” Day said to the PTI.

Bangladesh is placed 187 in the FIFA table, 83 places below India. The former Ebbsfleet and Welling manager said the hosts have made rapid progress under Igor Stimac.

“I have seen the progress India has made in recent times. In fact, the team made great strides under an English coach before Igor Stimac took over. I haven’t met or spoken to Igor. But I am looking forward to meeting him soon.”

Bangladesh lost their last group encounter against Qatar 2-0 on Thursday while India, on the other hand, held Qatar to a goalless draw in their away fixture last month. However, Day believes the few days gap between their qualifiers keeps them in a good space and helps them to prepare for the game on the 15th.

Bangladesh is arriving with some young blood in their squad and Day said, “The U-23 Bangladesh boys did exceptionally well in the Asian Games. We wanted to test and push them further.”

Under Day, Bangladesh has kept a fairly decent record and won seven of their 13 International matches since May 2018. He hopes to build on the foundation.

“I think we have become stronger as a team, and are much organised at the moment. All of that has made us a difficult team to beat. But we also intend to build on that, and make no mistake – we have now learnt how to win matches since I have taken over,” the Englishman asserted.

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