The Indian men’s hockey team skipper Manpreet Singh considers the recent success against reigning Olympic champion Argentina a big confidence-booster, but insists that the team still needs to address some grey areas as it pursues a podium finish in Tokyo.
Eight-time champion India is looking to end an over four-decade-long Olympic medal drought in Tokyo this year. India had won last of its eight Olympic gold medals in the 1980 Moscow Games.
“No doubt winning against a really strong team like Argentina in their home ground is a big confidence-booster, but we shouldn’t read too much into the results.
“We need to keep our heads down and remain focused on the areas that require improvement on the basis of our performance here. Our task is not over until we stand on the podium in Tokyo,” Manpreet said in a statement issued by Hockey India.
“After the matches, we feel there are a few areas we need to improve upon. While we did well as a team to come back into the game even in the dying minutes of the match, we feel we could have started better,” Manpreet said about the matche against Argentina.
“Also playing consistently, keeping up the pressure on the opponents in all quarters is another area we need to work on.”
India is scheduled to play Great Britain in the FIH Pro League on May 8 and 9 in London followed by a double header against Spain in Valencia on May 15 and 16.
After that, the Indians will play Germany in Hamburg on May 22 and 23.
“It was great to resume the FIH Hockey Pro League with five points from Argentina and we would like to keep this momentum going into the matches in Europe. These matches will surely be a litmus test for us before Tokyo,” Manpreet said.
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