Raipur: Chief coach Roelant Oltmans feels it's high time India shed their perennial habit of playing "up and down" hockey and maintain a level of consistency to produce results in international tournaments.
India had a lacklustre outing in the 0-3 loss to Argentina in the lung opener of the ongoing Hockey World League (HWL) Final here before producing a superlative performance in their next game to hold Olympic champions Germany to a 1-1 draw at the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Stadium here yesterday.
"I am pleased with our performance against Germany but the big challenge is to maintain that level until the end of the tournament. We have seen in the past sometimes we play very well and sometimes our performance is below par. It's up and down," Oltmans said on the eve of India's last pool match against defending champions and world no.2 Netherlands tomorrow.
The Dutchman, who is also the High Performance Director of Indian hockey, said they need to convert their chances into goals more often.
"We are trying to be more focussed. Our aim is to score three goals in every match. So far we have scored only one in the tournament," Oltmans said.
"It is not right to pinpoint individual players. We are one team, we are scoring goals together. We created a number of opportunities yesterday. The challenge for the next game is to score more goals."
The coach also backed his defenders and lauded their performance against Germany.
"In the first game we did a couple of defensive errors but against Germany we absolutely had no defensive lapse," he said.
"Germany had only four shots at the goal in the whole match. If you play a team like Germany who are Olympic champions and you allow them only four shots at the goal and concede just one which means we defended very well."
In VR Raghunath, Rupinder Pal Singh and Jasjeet Singh Kular, India has three dragflickers in the squad but the hosts have managed to garner just two penalty corners in two matches, one each against Argentina and Germany.
Asked Oltmans whether it is a cause of concern, he replied in the negative.
"In top level you won't get too many penalty corners. Yesterday we had only one penalty corner and Germany had also only one. Of course you would like to have more penalty corners but defenders are really good now-a-days," he said.
In the last meeting between the two sides during the Champions Trophy in Bhuvneshwar last year, India defeated Netherlands 3-2 in pool stages, but Oltmans said it won't be easy for India tomorrow.
"I think Holland played very well in the second quarter. But they struggled in the last quarter. But I think Holland deserved to win the game (against Argentina). They are no.2 in the world so we will have a tough game tomorrow and there is no doubt about it," he said.