We have started well but need to keep momentum going, says Sardar Singh

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We have started well but need to keep momentum going, says Sardar Singh

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SportsCafe Desk

12/06/2018

Former National Hockey team captain Sardar Singh has stated that the Indian team has started well at the Hockey World Cup and they need to keep the momentum and the energy going. India currently sits at the top of Pool C, courtesy a win against South Africa and a draw against Belgium.

The Indian men's Hockey team have had a decent start to their World Cup journey where they thoroughly defeated a much inferior South African side by 5-0 and managed to hold Belgium to a 2-2 draw thus staying on the top of the table in the Pool C courtesy a higher goal difference viz-a-viz Belgium. Former Indian Hockey captain seemed pretty happy by the way Indian team has done and suggested them to keep the momentum going in their favour.

“The start has been good. In the tournament, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Argentina and Australia are some of the best teams. We have started off well and need to keep the momentum going and continue with same energy," Sardar said.

"Tournaments like World Cup or Olympics come once in four years, so we have been preparing for this for a long. They (the players) know the value of such matches and how every second counts. They will not come back.

As the Indian team is almost sure to make it through to the Quarterfinals of the World Cup, Singh suggested that it will the Quarterfinal match which will matter the most. On that day in only a team performance can win them a match and India will benefit by playing as a complete single unit. 

"Our main match will be the quarter-finals. And on that day, it will not just be about - (PR) Sreejesh, Manpreet (Singh) we need to play as a complete unit and play to the potential.

For India, the match against Canada will be a crucial one which will decide which position the Indian team will finish after the pool matches. The result of the match and other Pool C match results will also decide which teams will play the crossover to reach the quarterfinals.

"Only energy (performances)by two or three players won't help (in the quarter-final). The four quarters that we have (in the match), we have to fully concentrate in the quarters. If we play that well, we can make it count," said Sardar who, in his prime, was among the finest half backs in world hockey.

Singh who has more than 300 appearances to his name for the Indian National Hockey team also commended the current Indian Hockey coach Harendra Singh. Sardar said that the coach has developed in last few years to become one of the best coaches.

"Like now we have Harendra, who is one of the best coaches. Over the last 10 years he has grown immensely (as a coach). When he was with the women's team and junior team, he had tasted success," recalled Sardar.

On the recent news in media and talks about Indian goalkeeper PR Sreejesh’s vulnerability to save goals hit to his right side, Singh defended the goalkeeper. He stated that Sreejesh is still the best in business when it comes to manning the goalpost. 

"If we see the Champions Trophy, Sreejesh got the player of the tournament. He is one of the best in the world. Experience matters a lot," he pointed out.

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