Bhubaneswar: Indian players lacked energy in the bronze medal match against Australia as the heart-breaking defeat against Pakistan kept haunting the side, High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans said on Sunday.
India had a golden opportunity to break their 32-year-old medal jinx in the Hero Champions Trophy but they ended up with a 1-2 defeat in the bronze medal match.
India only once won a medal in the Champions Trophy and that too a bronze in the 1982 edition of the tournament in Amsteelveen, the Netherlands.
"We wanted a medal here but it seems we missed something extra. Yesterday's loss was disappointing. It was at the back of the players mind when they took the field today. We could not bring energy into the match today," Oltmans told reporters after game at the Kalinga Stadium.
As has been the script so far, missed opportunities continued to hunt India all throughout the tournament, and Oltmans agreed with the fact.
"We are failing to take our chances especially in the third and fourth quarters and that is hurting us badly. But I am convinced if this group stays together and works hard Indian hockey has a bright future," he said.
"There is a lot of improvement in the team from the start of the year. There is a lot of progression."
He also felt that there is still lot of work to do ahead of the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"We lost ball too quickly and also held on to the ball. We talk about these things before the match but I guess under pressure the boys kept on committing the mistakes. It is a learning process for us," Oltmans said.
Australia coach Graham Reid believe that the Kookaburras played better hockey than what they did against India in the bilateral Test series in Perth recently, which they lost 1-3.
"As compared to the bilateral series in Australia we were much better and tighter today," he said. "This tournament is a learning phase and I am happy that we progressed throughout the tournament," he said.