New Delhi: With just 11 days left for the London Olympic qualifiers, Indian hockey coach Michael Nobbs is busy finetuning the minute aspects, which according to him should help the players avoid the mistakes that cost the team dearly in the recent past.
"The training is going on really well. There are no injury issues and we are now just finetuning. We are focusing on every little detail, every little thing that can cost us," Nobbs told reporters at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Tuesday.
While former India captain Dilip Tirkey, who is also a government appointed national selector, was seen working extensively with defenders for the past few days, Nobbs paid special attention to the drag-flickers during the training camp here on Tuesday.
"Dilip has joined the camp a few days back and he is taking care of the defensive line. We have brought him to finetune this area," he said.
"In the next 4-5 days we will complete the analysis of all the participating teams.
"Penalty corner is a very important aspect in modern day hockey. They can win or lose you a game. We are getting better and better in penalty corners. We have 3-4 best drag-flickers in our team," the Australian added.
The coach also warned his wards to guard against complacency in the qualifiers, in which India will be participating as a higher-ranked side.
The Indian men`s team will face Canada, Singapore, France, Italy and Poland in the event, to be held here from February 18-26.
"There will be no easy game because all the teams will be coming here hoping to qualify for the Olympics. We do have a better team but we cannot take any side lightly," Nobbs said.
Nobbs faced criticism from some quarters for leaving out senior players like Rajpal Singh and Arjun Halappa from the squad, but the Australian defended his decision.
"Everyone has been picked on form and fitness. The players we have selected are the best at present on form and fitness," he insisted.
"Both experience and youth are necessary in the team. I feel you need a blend of both."
India captain Bharat Chetri also said that Tirkey`s inputs will be of immense help for the defenders, who have the perennial habit of succumbing under pressure.
"Dilip is working hard with the defenders and his experience will be very handy. He is working on every aspect of defence," he said.
Star drag-flicker Sandeep Singh also agreed with his skipper.
"Defence is very important because of late we have conceded crucial goals under pressure. As a player Dilip has seen a lot and he is just sharing his experiences with us.
"He is helping us on how to stop counters and what to do in pressure situations," Sandeep said.