`India need to correct minor things to win Olympic medal`

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2012, 22:56 PM IST

Mumbai: Indian players are committing minor mistakes and if they correct them, the country has a good chance to win an Olympic medal in hockey after three decades at the London Games, said Prabhjot Singh.

"After eight years, our team has qualified for the Olympics. They did well in penalty corners and field goals (while winning the Games qualifying event in Delhi last month). The way they are playing, if they can set right the minor minus points they have shown, we will have a good chance of winning a medal in the Olympics," said Prabhjot.

Prabhjot has linked-up with former Junior World Cup winning teammates Deepak Thakur and Gagan Ajit Singh for Sher-E-Punjab team in the ongoing World Series Hockey and is here to play in the away match against Mumbai Marines on Wednesday.

The 31-year-old Punjabi, who was part of the team that finished seventh in the last Olympic Games that India took part in at Athens in 2004, did not see much difference between the coaching styles of Australian Michale Nobbs, the current national coach, and his predecessor, Spaniard Jose Brasa.

"Nobbs is guiding the team to play total attacking hockey and that`s why our defence is making some mistakes while Brasa tried for a balance between attack and defence. But overall there is not much of a difference (between the two coaches` styles)," he explained.

Prabhjot felt the probables named for the upcoming national camp should not have been stopped from playing in the Indian Hockey Federation-promoted WSH by Hockey India.

"In my opinion, the players (camp probables) should not have been stopped from playing in World Series Hockey. For the first time, such a big series is taking place in world hockey.

Whatever the problem between the federations, (rivals Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation), it should not affect the players."

The Athens Olympian was of the view that even in the absence of the campers, the tournament had picked up pace and was getting good crowd support.

"Though, those players are absent, the series is going on well and we are getting good public support. The former players, who are here, are playing well. Day by day, matches have become exciting, crowds have been growing in all centres and interest has picked up.

"Good crowd response has been there in Mumbai, Punjab and Chandigarh. They are coming out to support their (city) teams."

Comparing WSH`s predecessor Premier Hockey League, which was discontinued after a three-year presence, Prabhjot said that the current tournament was bigger and better.

"PHL was a different entity. World Series Hockey is being held for promoting the game. It`s a better and bigger event."

Prabhjot, who has scored two goals so far, said his team`s confidence level is high ahead of tomorrow`s game against Mumbai Marines.

"Our team is playing well and improving after every match. We are getting good field goals too. The team`s morale is considerably high. We are planning a different strategy for tomorrow`s game against Mumbai."

He was happy that the team`s penalty-corner specialist Harpreet is available to play after missing a few games.

"Our penalty corner expert Harpreet Singh could not play in the initial stages due to some problems. He has started playing now and has scored goals too and will play tomorrow and we are confident he will score again.

"From now on it will depend on the fitness of the teams. The team which retains peak fitness will win the title," he added.

The tournament runs up to April 2.

PTI