Former Mansfield Town manager Stuart Watkiss was tonight celebrating World Cup success as assistant manager of Bangladesh.
His charges this afternoon completed a two-leg victory over Laos in a pre-qualifier to reach the regular qualifying groups for Qatar 2022, a 1-0 away win on Thursday followed by a 0-0 home draw.
Along with manager Jamie Day, Watkiss has been helping modernise and improve Bangladeshi football over the past year with former Stags keeper Bobby Mimms last week also appointed as their national goalkeeping coach.
Interest in the sport there is back on the rise and Watkiss admitted:
“It wasn’t a vintage performance in the second leg, but we ground it out and it’s great for Bangladeshi football.
“We now have a World Cup campaign to look forward to. We will get more exposure and play some much stronger nations – I think the group draw is next month.
“It’s something for us all the look forward to over the next 18 months and everyone seems very happy as you’d expect.
“The lads dug in and deserved it over the two legs. We were the better team and the players have worked their socks off since Jamie and I came in.
“These games are huge for Bangladesh football and the continued development of it.”