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Jagbir promises improved team for Olympics

July 06, 2004 17:31 IST

Former Olympian Jagbir Singh, who was appointed assistant coach of the Indian hockey team on Tuesday, identified lack of co-ordination and tactics as the Indian hockey team's main shortcomings and promised to mould the side into a winning combination before next month's Olympics in Athens.

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"We are playing as three teams in one team. The defence, forwards and midfielders lack co-ordination," Jagbir said, reflecting on the team's dismal showing in the four-nation Robobank tournament in Amsterdam last week.

"We are also holding the ball too much and dancing to the tune of opponents. We lack the tactical part," he said.

Jagbir, who played from 1988 to 1992 and represented India at the Seoul and Barcelona Olympics, said the biggest positive about the team despite recent lacklustre performances is the fact that the players are confident of doing well in the Olympics.

"I have talked to the players. They have the energy and confidence to do something worthwhile for the country. They want to live up to the expectations of the nation," he said.

"My job is to ensure that their confidence level does not go down. The team will be in a different mould at the Olympics."

A certified high-performance coach, Jagbir said he has faith in his coaching capabilities and that is why he has taken up the job.

He would be leaving for Germany along with the team on July 10.

India is scheduled to play a four-nation tournament in Dusseldorf, starting July 16.

The former center-forward brushed aside suggestions that he would hardly have much to do with chief coach Rajinder Singh, two German experts and a Dutch coach around.

"It would be a challenge. I am ready with my inputs," he said.

Athens 2004: The Complete Coverage

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