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Give Carvalho a long run: Dhanraj
September 15, 2007 14:56 IST
Heaping praise on Joaquim Carvalho, mercurial striker Dhanraj Pillay said the coach should be given three years' time to lead the Indian hockey team back to glory.
Recalling the recent good performances of the Indian team, Pillay said Carvalho has done a marvellous job to raise visions of a turnaround in Indian hockey.
"They have been playing well. Two bronze medals and now the Asia Cup win. Beating Korea 7-2 in the final is no mean achievement. The forwardline is playing so well. The team showed consistency throughout the tournament and they should maintain it," Pillay told reporters on Saturday at a function orgainsed by Jindal group to promote Delhi Half Marathon.
"The credit should go to Carvalho. He has made players play positive and attacking hockey. That's what our strength is and all the great players of yesteryears and myself have made names by playing skillful hockey."
He said that Carvalho should be given a long run for the benefit of Indian hockey.
"Carvalho should be given two-three years' time. With proper team selection and his strategies he can do wonders," Pillay said.
The forward expected that the coach would bring out different strategies to counter European teams and see India through to win an Olympics [Images] berth.
"The main target for us right now is getting an Olympics berth. All the countries will field their best teams for the qualifiers. I am sure Carvalho will devise different strategies for other (non-Asian) teams," he said.
Pillay said the Indian team was lacking in penalty corner conversions and should improve on this aspect before the Olympic qualifiers next year.
"Improvement in penalty corner conversion is required. The Indian Hockey Federation is looking for specialists and if they find one then it will be good for the team," he said.
Expressing happiness with the current form of left-winger Prabhjot Singh, Pillay said "he scored 15 goals in the tournament and is playing so well. It's a good thing (for the team)."
Pillay, who is all set to play in the next edition of the Premier Hockey League, said with the rise in performance, the national game can regain its status in the priority list of the government.
"It has come down. But with a series of better performance, it can again get back its priority," he said.