Hockey

Oltmans unhappy with failure in creating chances

Roelant Oltmans.

Roelant Oltmans.  

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‘I think we can play much better than we did’

Indian hockey team coach Roelant Oltmans was unhappy that the strikers created very few scoring opportunities during the 2-2 draw against Great Britain in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament’s opening match here on Saturday.

“Overall, I can live with the result. But I am not happy about the number of goals — scoring opportunities we created in the game,” Oltmans said after the match.

It was the season’s first tournament for India, six months after the Asian Champions Trophy which it won in Kuantan City, Malaysia.

Oltmans said the defenders did a good job, but two unnecessary mistakes saw India concede goals that allowed Great Britain to stage a comeback twice in the match.

“We made a couple of unnecessary mistakes that they took benefit of,” said Oltmans. “Otherwise, we defended fairly well and conceded only one penalty corner. I think we can play much better than we did. But this is the first match with this combination and also the first since November,” he said.

“It’s not strange that all the rhythms and automatic movements are not part of your game.”

Special game

Oltmans said this game was special for the three juniors — Gurinder Singh, Manpreet Singh Jr. and Sumit — as they made their senior international debut.

“The first match is something special, but there was a little bit of tension that built up because we had to wait for the start,” Oltmans said.

“All these boys can play hockey, there is no doubt about that. Today, it was not the best hockey they have showed in their lives before, but I am 100% sure they will improve their game. You know that if you bring in some players for the first time, they will make some mistakes. That’s what they have to go through and hopefully won’t make those errors again,” he said.

On the other hand, Great Britain coach Bobby Crutchley said his team showed quality and did not give India many goal-scoring opportunites.

“Not allowing India many chances was one of our aims. If we had nicked the game with the corner at the end, it would have been perfect,” said Crutchley.

He was all praise for his team’s fight-back that saw it neutralise the Indian lead twice. “When you are behind, players push on to try and score the equaliser. That’s a good sign,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:15:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/oltmans-unhappy-with-failure-in-creating-chances/article18310945.ece

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