Like his goal-scoring ability, Prabhjot Singh is spot-on when he talks about the Indian team's preparations for the hockey World Cup on home turf.
The bandana-sporting stylish striker from Punjab is sharp to retort when one talks about the Indian team's old habit of losing its nerve in the closing stages of a match.
“We do not concede last-minute goals anymore. Rather, now we are scoring in the last minutes. That (losing the nerve) is a thing of past and we are not thinking about it anymore,” Prabhjot told The Hindu on Thursday.
The 29-year-old asserted that the dynamics and the approach of the side had changed over a period of time after Spaniard Jose Brasa took over as the Chief Coach.
Praise for Brasa
“He is a good coach, one of the top coaches in the world. He has taught us how to combine Indian and European styles of play.
“Earlier, a set of players used to be responsible for the attack and another set for the defence. Now, all the players are responsible for attack as well as defence,” said Prabhjot.
Prabhjot said the current National side was a balanced one. “There are a lot experienced players as well as some young players. And all of us are united,” he said.
“Our preparation has been good. We played some practice matches against the Petroleum team, the juniors and Argentina. That is good enough to test our skills before the World Cup,” said the winger.
Talking about the leverage of playing at home, Prabhjot said, “That, of course, is a big advantage. You play in home conditions. You have the crowd support which boosts the players enormously.”
On the question of what should be a satisfactory finish for India, Prabhjot would not commit himself. “I cannot say about the future. Someday some team will click, the other day it may not do so. All the teams are well-prepared for the World Cup and none can be taken lightly,” he said.