Players have to tackle irrespective of being a defender or a midfielder or a striker, asserts Graham Reid

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Graham Reid has stated that the Indian midfielders and the strikers have to pull up their socks and come out with good contribution, in tackling. Reid has also added that he wants the team to play an attacking brand of hockey in the coming days ahead of the crucial FIH Olympic Qualifiers.

The Indian men’s hockey team after winning the FIH Series Finals will now be looking ahead to win the FIH Olympic Qualifiers matches to make  way into the Tokyo Olympics to be held next year. Hockey India is currently organising special camps for the Indian players in various disciplines of the sport. During the camp for the defenders under former Aussie star Fergus Kavanagh in Bengaluru, Indian coach Graham Reid has stressed on the importance of tackling by the players on the turf.

"I have talked about the collective defensive mindset that we need. Irrespective of whether you are a midfielder or a striker or defender, you have to tackle, get the ball off the opposition, and put pressure on them. That is what we are focusing on in the first week. Later on, we will look into the attack and what we do with the ball bit more," Reid told Sportstar.

"I love attacking hockey and high-pressing and getting the ball off the opponent, which is the smartest way to defend. I would like to have a passing game, which we need to work more on. We need to know when to dribble as well. The great thing is that these players have great skills, but now the question is how to get them to do it when required.”

The Indian hockey team have also struggled in converting the chances up front on the turf as well. The forward line has struggled time and again after making circle entries and the coach spoke about that as well.

"We need to get better on the conversion rate. We are getting into the 25 and the circle pretty well; now, we need to convert those opportunities into more quality scoring chances. That is the key," the chief coach stated.

When asked if he faces any problems in communicating with the players, Reid replied, “There are players who can speak English, those who can only understand it, and those who can't speak or follow the language. Whatever I have to say gets translated. Communication has to be always clear; so I would like to get some English lessons started as well. But it's not been hard to get my message across to the team."

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