Star drag-flicker Sohail Abbas feels that Pakistan need a foreign coach to revive their past glory by blending Asian style with European structure.
Sohail, who failed to live up to his reputation as a dreaded penalty corner specialist in this World Cup, said hockey has changed a lot in recent times and the teams cannot afford weakness in any area.
“A team will have to be good in everything — defending, attacking, distributing or penalty corner conversion. The players now have multiple roles. I say the forwards are the first line of defence. We are known for our skills. But not only the skills, the structure (of how to play) is also important,” Sohail said.
“We (India and Pakistan) need maintain out Asian style but in European structure. You have to be fit and able to play at the same intensity for 70 minutes. That is the way the Europeans and the Australians are, and we have to do that if we want to catch up with them. So, I think Pakistan needs a foreign coach,” he added.
Sohail was recalled to Pakistan World Cup squad after a long lay-off along with a couple of senior players to strengthen the side.
“It was disappointing if you score just two goals in five matches. I tried my best but the goals did not come. But I want to continue playing for my country, may be in the next World Cup. I am happy with what I have achieved in my career from 1998 to 2010. I am not retiring,” he said.
Sohail conceded that the senior players failed to perform their best and his side lacked consistency.
“It is true we are inconsistent but the team is in a building process. The team is a mixture of some senior and younger players. It will take time to build a strong team. We want to do well and we can do well in the Asian Games,” said the 34-year-old.
Sohail also said Pakistan needs to play more matches against top sides in the world if they want to catch up with other teams.
“We did not play many games before the World Cup. We need to play often with the top six sides in the world as you learn only by playing international matches. Cricket is played all the year round but it is not the case in hockey. We need to play more international matches,” he said.