Our job is to play good hockey, no matter whoever the coach is, says Manpreet Singh

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Our job is to play good hockey, no matter whoever the coach is, says Manpreet Singh

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SportsCafe Desk


Former India hockey skipper Manpreet Singh, who was recently replaced by PR Sreejesh, has stated that the team is a close-knit group and remains unaffected with constant change in coaches. He also pointed out that the national team lacks consistency and called CWG failure an ‘insipid show’.

Constant chopping and changing of coaches have been a trend in the national hockey team for quite some time now. Recently, Harendra Singh took over the position of head coach from Sjoerd Marijne, who was axed from the job after the CWG failure. However, former skipper Manpreet has assured that the constant change in management hasn't affected the team.

“Honestly speaking, it (change of coaches) has never affected the team. We are a very close-knit unit and do not bother about things that are happening outside the turf. Our job is to play good hockey — no matter whoever the coach is,” Manpreet Singh said in an interview with TOI.

Singh, who has been one of the top midfielders in international hockey, has admitted that the Commonwealth Games' medal less campaign was a failure and the team couldn't stand up to the expectations as the side lost 1-2 to England in the bronze medal playoff at CWG 2018 and finished fourth in the tournament. 

“I would be frank, it was really poor. It was an insipid show. We failed as a unit, and I think my individual performance was also below par,” he said on the performance in CWG 2018. 

The Jalandhar lad has scored 12 goals for India and has 210 international caps to his name. Recently, he was removed from the captaincy of the Indian team and PR Sreejesh was appointed as the leader. However, contrary to the popular opinion, Singh didn’t think he was made a scapegoat for the poor performance and insisted that he had no hard feelings. 

“No, I don’t think so. It (removal from the post of captaincy) was the decision of the team management as they wanted an experienced guy to lead the Indian team. Sreejesh paaji was the captain before me and I was leading the team just because he got injured. I have no hard feelings,” he said.

Though he did mention that he was disappointed by the decision Manpreet also maintained a positive outlook on the situation. He has stated that this might be a blessing in disguise for him, which would help him in improving his game. 

On being asked if he was disappointed, he said, “Yes, a little… but then I realised it is a blessing in disguise for me as now I can concentrate on my own game. There are lots of areas where I need to improve. I hope to keep delivering for my country and my team. I aspire to win medals for India.

“Consistency is one area where we need to improve significantly. One day we are beating the top-most team of the world, and the very next day we are losing to a team whose ranking is way below us. We have to be more disciplined and ruthless in our approach,” he further added.

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