Indian hockey team’s flop-show in the World Cup has disheartened fans and experts alike but Rajpal Singh and his men have got support from an unlikely quarter in Olympic and World Championship bronze medalist boxer Vijender Singh.

Although his training schedule for the Commonwealth Championships leave him with little time for anything else, the world number one middle weight boxer has been following the hockey team’s campaign on television.

“Though I have not been able to go to the stadium, I have been watching the matches on TV and it was fun. We must support the team when it is going through a tough time. No athlete plays to lose and we should respect the effort they put in,” the 24-year-old said.

The Indian hockey team finished fourth in its group after winning one, drawing one and losing three matches.

The team will take on Argentina in a seventh-eighth place play off on Thursday.

“Only an athlete knows what he goes through while training. We should appreciate that,” said Vijender