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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report


Need to work on gray areas: Rajinder

March 15, 2004 21:14 IST

Chief hockey coach Rajinder Singh is a happy man after India's qualification to the Athens Olympics, but he admitted the team needs to improve its performance by a few notches to finish in the medal bracket in the mega event in August.

"It was overall a good performance in Madrid. But we have still certain gray areas which we need to work upon. The goalkeeping is required to be improved and we should regularly convert penalty-corners. The defence has to be tightened up," he told reporters after the team's arrival from Madrid early on Monday.

India's fourth-place finish in the 12-nation tournament earned it a place in the Athens Olympics.

The coach said the next few months will be crucial in preparing the team for the big event.

"The next four to five months are going to be very, very important. We would be working on our weaknesses and go to the Olympics even stronger," Rajinder said.

He admitted that India played under tremendous pressure in the qualifiers, which had its effect on the performance of the players.

"We were under some pressure as we were there to qualify for the Olympics. It was really hard playing against certain teams who put in all their effort to qualify for the Olympics.

"It was as if they were not playing in the qualifiers but in the Olympics," he said.

"After we qualified, we played much better hockey."

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