Pressure brings best out of me, claims confident Oltmans
New Delhi: Roelant Oltmans realises the burden of expectations he will carry as an interim coach of the national hockey team during the Asia Cup but the Dutchman is confident that adversity will bring the best out of him.
"I am there for just 6 weeks. But I am up for the challenge otherwise I wouldn`t have accepted the offer. I love such situations because I love to handle pressure. It motivates me to do better," Oltmans, who will coach the team after the unceremonious exit of Michael Nobbs, said.
The legendary Dutch coach said that his focus will primarily be on three things -- preparation, performance and result.
"I know Indian team will feel the pressure but I am focused at preparing my wards well for the Asia Cup. What I have to look at in these six weeks will be preparation, performance and then results. A good preparation will get you performance and from a good performance comes results and that`s what I have always believed in," he stated in a confident tone.
Oltmans, who is also the High Performance manager with the Hockey India (HI) knows that his task is cut out.
"My immediate task is quite clear. We have a short period of time at our disposal --- exactly six weeks and in that period, I have to prepare a good team which is capable of winning the Asia Cup," he said.
"In the last 2 years we have improved out fitness levels. But there are three areas which we need to focus on -- possession, non-possession and turn-overs. In these areas, we have to make clear improvements. We will work our hearts out to get this done."
Oltmans made it clear that he is happy with his job as High Performance Director of Hockey India.
He also played down talks on M K Kaushik replacing Michael Nobbs as India's chief coach.
"It is very clear that I will be the coach for six weeks and after the Asia Cup I will go back into my job as Director, High Performance. This is a temporary arrangement because there was very little time for someone to replace Nobbs before Asia Cup," Oltmans said.
"We need time to appoint the right person. We have big task at hand and this is why I accepted the offer. We are looking at future and we are looking for a foreign coach," added the 59-year-old, who also coached the Pakistan and Netherlands national teams in the past.
Oltmans, however, refused to fully agree with Australian hockey legend Ric Charlesworth who was of the view that there are not good enough Indian coaches who can fulfil the requirements of the modern-day game.
But the Dutchman said there is a dearth of hockey coaches in India as compared to the mumber of players.
"We all know we have to improve the coaching level in the country but off course there a number of good coaches. It's not that there no good coaches in India. For instance, Baljit Saini, Mohammad Riaz, B J Kariappa, Sandeep Sangwan are capable coaches and I am sure they will be future coaches of Indian hockey," he said.
"But if you talk about the number of hockey players in the country and the number of coaches to educate them, for sure I feel we need to work on developing more coaches."
Oltmans said patience is the need of the hour for Indian hockey which is struggling to regain its glorious past.
"We need to have patience. You cannot expect a team to start performing again after years of non-performance. It is not possible. I always said it will take six to eight years before we can perform consistently at the top level," he insisted.
"In the meantime, we are aiming for very good results. And for this we need to believe in the current players. They are good players. I believe in these boys, I believe in the structure that we have presently," Oltmans said.