Tough group will motivate us to play positively: Sandeep

Lucknow: Having fashioned India`s entry into the London Olympics with his stupendous performance in the qulifiers, star drag-flicker Sandeep Singh feels a tough group in the upcoming Games will only motivate the team to come out with a positive intent.

India has been placed alongside former Olympic champions Germany, Netherlands, Korea, New Zealand and Belgium, but Sandeep said the strong line-up will not be a deterrent for the eight-time champions.

"India has been placed in Group `B` with strong contenders, but this has further motivated and increased the confidence of the players. It has been seen that upsets do take place in the stronger group," said Sandeep, who pumped in five goals against France in the finals of the Olympic qualifiers in Delhi last month.

The Haryana lad scored 16 goals in all in the tournament to propel his team to the London Olympics.

"The performance of the team in the qualifying tournament has bolstered the hope that the team would put up a good show in the Olympics," Sandeep told PTI on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony here yesterday.

Sandeep exuded confidence in his team and said they will try to dominate their opponents by continuing to play an aggressive brand of hockey.

He added, the primary target of the team would be to make a place in the semi-finals.

Hailing head coach Michael Nobbs for instilling a fresh lease of life into Indian hockey, Sandeep said, "He has brought aggression in the players and have taught them how to use it against the opponents."

"According to Nobbs attack is the best form of defence," he added.

The 26-year-old added that the team was playing like a unit and all the members were encouraging each other.

"All the players are motivated enough to unfurl the Indian tri-colour at the hockey turf in the Olympics," he concluded.