New Delhi: India might have finished a disappointing ninth in the recent Hockey World Cup, but High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans today sought to present the performance of the national team in a positive light, saying the country showed "100 per cent improvement" and better results will follow "very soon".
Oltmans said even though the end result in the World Cup was not satisfactory, Indian hockey was "clearly moving forward".
"We had clear and good debrief of the World Cup in the last two days. We discussed the insights into the way we prepared the team for the World Cup and shared future ideas to ensure we keep on improving," he said today.
"We showed 100 per cent improvement. We showed lot of improvement in terms of structure, mental and physical abilities and results will come very soon. But it is difficult to say how near it is," Oltmans said.
He was speaking to reporters at the end of two-day meeting of Hockey India`s 10-member Team, Coaching and High Performance Evaluation Committee, which assembled here to evaluate the performance of Indian men`s hockey team in the World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands.
"Outcome was not what we expected we are clearly moving forward. We are in a transition phase. We are in the middle of a process and it will take some time to witness a spike in our performance. In this process we can`t expect performance at the highest level," he said.
Oltmans said it will take India at least six years to return among the elite league of world hockey and has set his sights on 2018 World Cup at home. "When I joined I said it will take five plus years for India to compete with the top teams of the world. One year has already passed and by the time of next World Cup in 2018, we should expect a medal in our necks," the Dutch legend said.