‘India will play attacking hockey’

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Dec 2018 12:33:58



With the Netherlands confirmed as their quarter-final opponents in the World Cup, India captain Manpreet Singh Tuesday said they will continue to play attacking hockey in a game where there will be no margin for error. Netherlands thrashed Canada in the cross-over match to book a date with India on Thursday.

Speaking to reporters before before Dutch and Canada match, Manpreet said, “We are expecting Holland to come through because they are a much better team. But whoever goes through our aim would be to give our best. It is a knockout, do-or-die match and there is no second chance. We can’t afford to miss chances. At the same time, we need to be cautious and give less chances,” the midfielder said.

“We need to play attacking hockey, our strength. When we try to play defensive, we tend to be too much defensive which provides more chances to opponents. We need to put pressure on them (from the start),” Manpreet explained. The skipper said utilising chances would be crucial to success in the quarter-final. “But it will be a very tough match and whichever team utilises its chances will win,” he said.

“If you progress to the semi-finals you always have an option of finishing in the podium. You are just one match away from a medal. But if you lose in the quarter-finals, you don’t get a second option. “In the end it all boils down to how we play. If we get good chances and miss them and obviously the opposition team will take advantage of it,” he added.  Manpreet listed out a series of dos and don’ts against three-time champions Netherlands.

“In the past we had good matches against Holland. In the Champions Trophy we drew with Holland. We have also defeated them in the past. “Our aim would be to strengthen our defence. Holland has very good and experienced midfield. They also have good strikers. So, our aim would be to break their moves early. We can’t give them easy chances and also need to convert our chances,” he said.
Manpreet said the Hockey India League played a big part in the progress of the Indian team.