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Rajinder rues missed chances
December 18, 2005 19:38 IST
Indian hockey coach Rajinder Singh cited the team's bunglings in the second half and missed chances as the reasons for his team's 3-4 loss to Pakistan in the play-off for the 5-6 places in the Champions Trophy in Chennai on Sunday.
"We played well but missed many chances especially in the first half. In the second half we bungled and made mis-passes. The last goal (scored by Rehan Butt of Pakistan) was due to a defence lapse," he said at the post-match conference.
He also said four of the key players -- Vikram Pillay, V S Vinaya, Rajpal Singh and Viren Rasquinha -- had to take to the field despite injuries as there was inadequate bench strength.
However, he did give credit to the arch-rivals saying they played well.
Asked whether there would be any changes in the team in preparation for the World Cup next year, Singh reiterated his position that the present lot was the best available.
"However, as modern hockey means power play, if anyone with good physique and power comes up, we would consider."
When asked about William Xalxo, who played well today when he was earlier said to be not fit, Rajinder evaded a direct answer and said the defence overall did well.
On captain Gagan Ajit Singh, who scored his first goal in six matches, the coach said his performance was not up to the mark on Sunday.
Rajinder Singh pointed out to the changes since he took over in the April, saying that the youngsters were given enough opportunities.
"A number of new players came up after the Azlan Shah Cup in May and then again after the Rabo Trophy in August. Juniors have been given a chance in this tournament," he said.
Pakistan Coach M Asif Bajwa declined to attend the mandatory post-match press conference.