Bhutan will be looking forward to getting past the group stage and has set eyes on a semi-final spot according to their man at the helm.
“I think success for us will be if we get to the semi-finals,” said the Bhutan Head Coach, Trevor Morgan.
Morgan hopes to turn around the disappointing start the national team has had this year with back-to-back 7-0 defeats to Maldives and Malaysia. “The last two games were very disappointing, and I know I’m new to the players,” said the former East Bengal coach who took over the reins of the Bhutan National Team in March this year.
Bhutan will kick off the competition at the Bangabandhu National Stadium against Bangladesh, before taking on Nepal and Pakistan. Talking about how the team will be preparing to go into the games, Morgan said: “I’ll be looking at their games and how they play, but one of the most important things is how we play.”
Morgan showered praises on the team’s forward Chencho Gyeltshen, often dubbed ‘The Ronaldo of Bhutan’. “With full-time coaching, he’ll become an even better player, and he’s somebody that we need,” said Morgan about the forward who plies his trade with Indian Super League club Bengaluru FC.
The Bhutan team has adopted an unconventional training regime and are sweating it out with the Royal Bhutan Army in preparation for the Suzuki SAFF Cup. “The army instructors don’t mess around. The players enjoy it, it’s hard work,” said Morgan.
Bhutan has got past the group stages of the Suzuki SAFF Cup only once – when they progressed to the semis by holding Bangladesh to a draw and recording a shock win over Afghanistan back in 2008.
The team has yet to register a win since 2016, when they defeated Bangladesh in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying playoffs.