We believed we could beat Australia and played with that spirit, says PR Sreejesh

We believed we could beat Australia and played with that spirit, says PR Sreejesh

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PR Sreejesh has stated that the Indian hockey team was always confident of beating Australia in the final and the players played with that attitude. He also stated that players took the game to the next level in Breda showing encouraging signs ahead of the Asian Games and the World Cup at home.

India were beaten 1-3 by Australia in the in the final of Champions Trophy after the score had remained 1-1 at the end of regulation time. It was the second consecutive silver medal for India in the tournament, and Sreejesh, who stood under the bar leading the side, stated that the Indian players had the belief to beat Australia and played with that spirit. 

"I was disappointed for not winning the gold in the Champions Trophy because we anticipated meeting Australia in finals. We did meet them, but could not do well in the shootout. We believed we could beat Australia and played with that spirit," Sreejesh said as quoted by TOI.

"We did extremely well, especially after the team lost striker Ramandeep Singh, who sustained an injury. Boys took the performance to next level and definitely this will help us to do well in Asian Games and World Cup," Sreejesh added.

Looking ahead, Sreejesh said after the five-day break, the team would reassemble and chart out strategies and plans for the Asian Games. Talking about his own performance in the tournament, Sreejesh revealed that it was a challenge to recover from the injury and perform. 

"I worked really very hard to become match fit and worked on certain aspects of the game. All these could not have happened without team support. I am happy to win the award and I think, our defence really stood out," he said.

Replying to a query, Sreejesh also stated that coach Harendra Singh has been great for the team because he has been good at motivating the players.

"Harendra knows the boys really well, for all of us have worked with him at the junior level. One of the best parts of him is, he really motivates and pumps up players. He is gifted with using right words just before players walk onto the field."

“The players also were immensely happy to give Harendra his first silver as the coach, for he had never played as a player for the country in Champions Trophy,” Sreejesh added.

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