Amjad Iqbal confident of Pak win in Dhaka

Zohaib Rashid meets injured star Amjad Iqbal for FPDC about the upcoming World Cup qualifier.

Amjad missed out of the squad following a long term injury last year while playing for AFC Farsley.


AS the Pakistan squad prepare to take on Bangladesh at Dhaka in the first leg of their 2014 World Cup round one qualifier in a few hours, there is one name that will be missing from the team-sheet.

But midfielder Amjad Iqbal is more than confident that the Greenshirts will go back to Pakistan with a victory under their belt.

Iqbal is currently working his way back to fitness after suffering a career-threatening leg break while playing for Farsley Celtic against Armthorpe Welfare back in October.

But the 30-year-old has continued to remain positive throughout his rehab period and feels he could be back on the playing field soon.

And Iqbal believes Pakistan should also have a positive mental attitude as they look to progress to the second round of qualifying.

The talismanic 30-year-old believes Pakistan have the strength in depth to overcome Bangladesh and take a healthy lead going into the second leg in Lahore on Monday (3).

Iqbal featured in Pakistan’s last match against Bangladesh, when they were held to a goalless draw in the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship in Dhaka in December 2009.

“I believe we should go in to the match with a winning mentality,” Iqbal told in an exclusive interview.

“We dominated the game the last time we played them in the SAFF Cup. They hardly had a shot on goal so I think we have a great opportunity for an away goal.”

Iqbal is predicting a 2-0 win for Pakistan and believes victory over one of their south Asian neighbours will be good for the morale of the team.

“Well it’s about bragging rights,” he said. “We are a bigger nation and have better players from what I have seen. It will be a good game but there is a lot at stake here.

“Victory today can set us up nicely for the future and maybe put us on the map and help raise interest of football even more in Pakistan.”

Pakistan’s squad contains four overseas based players including Zesh Rehman, Atif Bashir, Adnan Ahmed and Ahmed Akbar Khan.

Iqbal believes these players give Pakistan an edge and can help inspire the home-grown players to raise their game.

“Well if u look at the foreign lads compared to the domestic boys, you will see a significant physical edge. The presence of guys like Atif and Adnan should give the players hope and determination.

“There are some technically gifted players in Pakistan but are raw. With the right coaching and direction, they can become better, complete players.”

With regards to his own development, Iqbal has begun light workout in the gym and is confident he has the mental strength to get back to dominating the opposition on the pitch.

“I feel I am a strong character mentally and physically. If I keep up the hard work in the gym and field Inshallah I’ll be back soon.”