Back from a successful Canada tour, India hockey captain Sandeep Singh said the national team was working hard for a good showing in the three major events next year but cautioned against high expectations as it can have adverse affect on their performance.
India will be hosting the hockey World Cup in February-March next year, followed by the Commonwealth Games in October. The eight-time Olympic champions will also take part in the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China in November.
“We are performing well and working very hard to put up a good performance in the three majors events in 2010. I personally feel there should not be too much hype before these events.
“I know everyone wants to see India winning on home soil, be it in hockey or cricket. But sometimes with expectations come pressure, which can affect our performance,” Sandeep said.
Incidentally, chief coach Jose Brasa had earlier expressed similar views, saying one should not expect extraordinary result in the World Cup slated to be held here as team is going through a learning process.
Sandeep also said that the Spanish coach’s effort of introducing India to European style of hockey is paying rich dividends, which was quite evidently visible in the results of the Canada tour.
“Coach sir (Brasa) is very particular about technical aspects. We are now playing European style of hockey as all other top teams in the world do. We have to adapt their style to be in the big league,” the ace drag-flicker said.
Asked what are the major challenges India might face in the three sporting events next year, Sandeep said, “We are playing CWG in October and Asiad in November. We have to give our best in both the tournaments and peaking twice in that small gap will hold the key. We are working hard for it.”
Although Sandeep seemed contended with his performance during the Canada tour, where he scored seven goals, he said there is still scope for more improvement in his game.
“I performed well in Canada but I feel I could have done better. I am working on wide shots and penalty corner conversion rate,” he said.
He also refused to comment on Brasa’s new tactics of rotating the captaincy.
“It was a new experiment by coach. I think he wanted to judge everyone. I am not against any experiment and I think that I am more mature as a captain now,” Sandeep said.