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September 19, 2000
Bhaskaran warns against complacency
Jaideep Singh in Sydney
India is on the verge of making the Olympic semifinals after 20 years and coach Vasudevan Bhaskaran is hoping the boys won't become complacent and throw away the opportunity.
"We can't be complacent now that we have a good chance," Bhaskaran said after the 2-2 draw with Australia gave Indian four points from two games. "We have a very good chance but I'm not talking about that just yet... let us focus on the remaining group matches."
Captain of the last gold medal-winning Indian team in 1980, Bhaskaran said a medal here would give Indian hockey the boost it needs to produce world champions again.
"The future of Indian hockey is quite good. The talent is there but the problem is that we haven't been winning medals of late... a medal here will change that," he said.
"But there are so many shocking results coming through that one needs to be concerned about becoming overconfident... that's dangerous."
Bhaskaran said the draw against Australia in a fast-paced game was fair result for both sides but thought India should have won the match given that they held sway for long.
"The way the two teams played, the draw was a fair result," he said. "But we were unlucky since we had the run of play in our favour and then committed a mistake to give away the equaliser."
Despite a fast and tiring game that took its toll, the Indian coach did not rely on the rolling substitution as much as his Australian counterpart.
Bhaskaran said he did not feel that substitutes needed to be rolled frequently just because of rule.
"I don't believe in rolling the substitutes just for the sake of it," he said. "The players were able to take the pressure and I wanted the seasoned ones to have an extended stint in this crucial game."
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