Pargat Singh played a key role in Michael Nobbs' appointment as India's chief hockey coach but the former captain now says it is high time the under-performing Australian is given the "marching orders".
"If he is performing he should stay back, but if not the authorities shouldn't hesitate to give him the marching orders. He should be relieved of his duties immediately if he is not performing," Pargat, who pushed for Nobbs' selection while being the chairman of Hockey India's technical committee, said.
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During his two-year tenure so far, Nobbs has failed to galvanise the sagging fortunes of Indian hockey. Under the Australian, eight-time champions India returned with a wooden spoon from last year's London Olympics.
Nobbs is presently under pressure to help India qualify for the World Cup in The Hague, Netherlands next year after the Sardar Singh-led side failed to secure a direct entry for the showpiece event at the FIH World League semi-final at Rotterdam last month.
Nobbs faces the risk of being fired from his job if India fail to qualify for the World Cup by winning the eight-nation Asia Cup, scheduled to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from August 24 to September 1.
Pargat, who is no longer part of the technical committee, also criticised Hockey India's style of working.
"He (Nobbs) was appointed for a five-year tenure. He has completed two years of his job but did Hockey India ever assess his performance? Did the federation take any feedback from the players and other coaches on his style of working?
"What Hockey India needed to do was review his performance yearly. If someone is appointed for a long tenure it doesn't mean he can complete his term without showing any results," said the former defender, who captained India at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
"The players don't know which system to follow because in Nobbs we have a coach from Australia and our High Performance Manager Roelant Oltmans is from Holland," Pargat said.
Nobbs was appointed Indian hockey team's chief coach in 2011, a post for which present Hockey India High Performance Manager, Roelant Oltmans was also in the running.
But Pargat said looking at the financial constraint and other factors, Nobbs was the best available candidate at the time.
"Oltmans was too costly and we needed to appoint the coach urgently. The availability was also a factor. So keeping in mind all these issues, Nobbs was the best possible candidate available before us," he said.
Pargat said Nobbs was appointed with the primary objective of establishing a coaching mechanism in the country but rued the fact that the Australian has failed to do so.
"Nobbs was supposed to set up a coaching mechanism in the country. He was supposed to set up a specific system and structure in place but unfortunately it is still not there," he said.
Insisting that the road to the World Cup looks "difficult" for the erstwhile champions of the game, Pargat criticised the selection of a few players for the FIH World League in Rotterdam.
"It will be very tough to win the Asia Cup. I also failed to understand the selection of some players in the team. For example on what basis Sandeep (Singh) was picked up. He looked out of sorts in Rotterdam. On current form he doesn't deserve a place in the side," he said.
Image: Michael Nobbs
Photograph: Laxmi Negi/Rediff.com