Stuck to our gameplan today after Argentina defeat: Roelant Oltmans
India, after losing to Argentina yesterday, hold Olympic champions Germany to a 1-1 draw.
Raipur: India's chief coach Roelant Oltmans was a "proud" man after his side played out a 1-1 draw against Olympic champions Germany on Saturday, especially after the disappointing 0-3 loss to Argentina in the opening match of the Hockey World League (Final), here last night.
India produced a lacklustre performance against Argentina yesterday but dished out a much-improved showing to hold the European giants to a draw and a proud Oltmans said it was the result of team effort.
"We discussed what happened yesterday and we made amends for that today. The team showed a lot of energy which we were lacking yesterday. We made less unforced errors than yesterday, especially at the start of the game. The team stuck to their gameplan till the last minute today," the Dutchman, who is also the High Performance Director of Indian hockey, said at the post-match press conference.
"Sometimes you need small results like this to show that this is the way we have to work. I am proud in the manner they recovered so close after yesterday's disappointing game. We kept fighting to score a goal. We had more chances. The team really had done very well. This is the start. I said yesterday that one defeat is not a disaster in a tournament like this."
"Yesterday, we didn't look like a team and I told them that in the team meeting. But today we were one team and that displayed in our game," he said.
Oltmans said India showed intent and created more chances today which was not there in yesterday's game.
"Of course, we had plenty of chances but at the same time Germany is known as one of the best defending teams in the world. You can see the way they stay calm to overcome difficult situations and that is their strength. But the good thing is we created chances, yesterday we didn't and that is the big difference," he said.
He praised midfielder Manpreet Singh who created the opportunity from which Akashdeep Singh scored in the 47th minute to level the scores.
"Manpreet from the first minute showed the desire of the team today," he said.
India will take on defending champions Netherlands in their last Pool B match on Monday.
"We another tough game to go against Holland and these matches help us to be better," Oltmans said.
SV Sunil missed today's game due to a knee injury which he suffered in the last match but the coach hoped the striker to recover before the knock-out phase of the tournament.
"He (Sunil) got hit on the knee yesterday. You never know how long it will take but I expect him to recover and be back during the tournament. I am not sure whether he can play against Holland but I hope him to play in the quarter-finals," Oltmans said.
Indian midfielder Manpreet said they tried to play their best hockey today after the morale shattering performance against Argentina.
"We performed much better today. After yesterday, we pledged that we will give our best today. We will try to play the same we played against Germany today and try to give our 100 percent.
"Yesterday, we committed a lot of unforced errors which was not their in our game today. We tried to play as a unit," he said.
Germany newly-appointed coach Valentin Altenburg said he was not at all surprised by India's performance.
"India had a very strong performance from the beginning. They changed their mentality in comparison to yesterday. From the beginning they were very active and mentally very aggressive.
"Personally, I was not that surprised by India's performance but we as a team was surprised," said Altenburg, who also coached the Dabang Mumbai in the Hockey India League.
"In the fourth quarter, we got a little bit hold in the game but to conclude we have to say that India played very well. And we didn't play that well."
Altenburg said for him results doesn't matter, what matters is performance.
"We are more concerned about performance than result and the performance today was an issue. We definitely have to improve our game. Today it was up and down. We didn't control anything today and made so many mistakes which we have to change against Argentina," he said.