Despite the disappointing results on the recent European tour, Indian men’s hockey coach Terry Walsh, on Thursday, insisted there were a lot of positives to take back. He was also optimistic of the team’s performance at the upcoming World Cup at The Hague, the Netherlands.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a training session at the National Stadium here, Walsh said the success of a tour depended not just on results. “Most people here rate the success of tours on results, but tours are not only about that. I would rate the tour as very, very useful.
“According to estimates, sufficient improvements have been made. Tours are about exposure, finding out what you have and what you need, and how to go about the entire development process,” Walsh said.
He admitted the tour will have a positive impact on the players’ World Cup performance.
“The players have a lot of self-belief now — much more than what they did three months ago and significantly better than during the World League Round four. Statistically, we were very close to two of the top teams in the world. I would rather win games when it is important than on tours,” he added.
“We have to rotate players for the betterment of the playing group. We have to pick and choose tournaments and for us, the two big events this year are the World Cup and the Asian Games.”
Captain Sardar Singh observed that the European tour was part of the final selection process for the World Cup and, in that sense, had been far more useful than the results indicate.