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Still a long way to go: Rajinder
June 10, 2003 18:27 IST
"Our showing in Australia is no doubt a big morale booster, but our primary aim is the Athens Olympics... and we have still a long way to go," Rajinder Singh said as the Indian team returned from Australia to a rousing reception in Delhi on Tuesday.
"We have to be very focussed to achieve our target and need to prepare really hard for that," he said.
India finished runners-up to Australia in the first-leg of the tournament in Perth but won the second-leg in Sydney.
Rajinder Singh said India's fine performance Down Under was possible due to the induction of several members of the junior World Cup-winning team.
"The juniors and seniors gelled well to form effective combinations. That helped our cause a lot in Australia as they played like a team and made our victory possible," he said.
India were unlucky to lose the Perth final as Australia scored an "opportunistic" goal in the last minute to emerge 2-1 winners.
However, a week later, India settled scores with the hosts when they thrashed them 5-3 after an engrossing battle.
Photograph: Ranjan Basu/Saab Press