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Prabhjot slams coach for poor show

August 23, 2004 15:55 IST

Key forward Prabhjot Singh has accused chief coach Gerhard Rach of deliberately trying to put him under pressure and forcing the team to play defensive hockey, which is not its forte.

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Prabhjot, who has been off-colour at the Olympics, also expressed displeasure about being used in the matches for short durations.

"I am played for five minutes and made to sit on the bench for 15 minutes. Overall, in all the four matches that we have played so far, I must have played for 25 minutes or so," he said, ahead of India's last league match against Argentina.

"He is making us play defensive hockey which is not our style. Our main strength is skill and short passes but he is making us play long passes. He is trying to change our entire style of play," the Punjab player said.

He alleged that the coach was biased against him and had been harassing him since the pre-Olympic camp in Germany.

"He does not like me at all. He is always trying to find fault with me. He started putting me under pressure from the camp in Germany. Even in practice matches he would just try to run me down even when I was right."

The German took over the reins of the Indian team a month before the Olympics but the players appear to have taken a dislike to his style of coaching, with veteran striker Dhanraj Pillay and captain Dilip Tirkey also criticizing his methods in their newspaper columns.

India, already out of medal contention after having lost three of their four group league matches, are now fighting for minor placings.

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