New Delhi: India hockey team coach Rolant Oltmans said that his side will improve as the event progresses after an uninspiring 2-1 victory against Japan in the 25th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, in Ipoh, Malaysia.
Oltmans said that the young players settling down as the tournament progresses will help his side improve.
"Not even for a second did I not believe we would win this match. We will improve as the event progresses and the young players settle down."
Oltmans lamented that his side didn't have a good start and would have scored more goals in this rusty match.
"We did not have a good start today, but it is the just the beginning of a tournament. We should have scored more goals and our control was well organised," he said.
Oltmans said the Indian team must improve its ability to retain possession. "We need to improve in possession, but out performance shows that we are taking small steps forward," he said.
The coach was pleased with young Harmanpreet Singh, who got the equalizing goal for India. Harmanpreet has emerged from the junior national team and this is his maiden international tournament.
"It was nice to see Harmanpreet score his first goal," said Oltmans. "That's the sort of thing we want out of this tournament."
India face Australia on Thursday.
(With PTI inputs)