February 17 2020
‘Good start releases pressure’, says India coach Harendra
28 November 2018

Harendra says team will follow different plans in pool stage

Well begun is half done, believes India chief coach Harendra Singh as the host is ready to cross swords with South Africa in its opening Pool-C match of the Hockey World Cup on the sparkling new turf of the Kalinga Stadium here on Wednesday.

Harendra expressed confidence that his young side would play positively.

“The first match is important. It releases 40 to 50% of pressure (if you win). We want full points tomorrow, but can’t forget the basics and the strategy,” said Harendra, addressing the media here on Tuesday.

“I expect their (South Africa) strikers to try and break us, but we have strategies in place.

“We will not compromise on playing attacking hockey and will think ahead of the opponents.”

According to Harendra, India will follow different plans in the pool stage.

“It’s a unique pool. All four teams — Canada, South Africa, Belgium and India — are different. We have done our homework.”

Supports the breaks

Supporting the big gaps between matches, Harendra said India would use the breaks to return to the turf with fresh body and mind.

Harendra, who guided the Indian team to the Junior World Cup win in 2016, said his young side had put behind the disappointing third-place finish in the Asian Games and would focus on ball possession.

India captain Manpreet Singh pointed out that the team had become better.

“We have won bronze in the Hockey World League and then silver in the Champions Trophy. We have to show we have improved,” said Manpreet.

South Africa coach Mark Hopkins said that India would be under pressure.

“Being the host nation, there is pressure on India’s shoulders. We have the squad, skill and tactics to play good hockey,” said Hopkins.



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