Hockey coach Nobbs asks India to be as ruthless as Australia

New Delhi: Chief coach Michael Nobbs says the Indian hockey team has to be as ruthless as World champions Australia if they have to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.

The 57-year-old Aussie said after a training session of his wards preparing for the Olympic Qualifiers here Feb 18-26 that it is the ruthless attitude and approach of his native Australians that made them the top team in the world.

"Australia will always remain grateful to India for teaching them hockey. But what makes Australia the best team in the world is their ruthless nature. I want the Indian team to be as ruthless as them if they want to succeed in international hockey and regain their glory days," Nobbs told reporters at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here.

Nobbs wants well-built and physically fit players in the Indian team.

"We are working towards getting well-built and physically fit players in the team. Today Australians are successful because they also have some physically fit players in the team. Such players give you lot of advantages. They can quickly recover the ball after losing it and can also break into any attack and defence with ease," he said.

Nobbs said he has picked players in the Indian team on the basis of their strengths.

Giving the example of his wife Lee Capes, who was a part of the 1988 gold winning Australia`s women`s hockey team, Nobbs said: "My wife was an excellent forward but she was an atrocious tackler. She was repeatedly ignored for quite some time. But she worked hard on her strength, was quickly picked up for the Olympic side and went on to score the winning goal in the 1988 final. Similarly, Sandeep Singh is not a great defender but I have picked him because he is great in converting penalty corners. So for me, combination is very important to maintain the balance of the side."

Nobbs said he was happy with the way the boys have improved their fitness.

"An Aussie player runs around 8 kilometres every match and Indians are also slowly catching up," he said.

The chief coach also said that rolling substitution will take place every nine minutes.

"We have decided to substitute every player after 9 minutes and in this way all players are expected to get around 38-46 minutes of play," he said.

Asked if he is tense ahead of the Olympic qualifiers, Nobbs said: "I am a nervous coach. I want to make everything perfect. I want to win every match. Winning is a nebulous type of target. It all depends on the process. If my boys work hard they will get results," he said.


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