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No differences with Dhanraj: coach

Onkar Singh in New Delhi | February 24, 2004 09:43 IST
Last Updated: February 24, 2004 09:47 IST

Indian hockey coach Rajinder Singh denies any differences between him and Dhanraj Pillay, which led to the star's exclusion from the national team for the Olympic qualifier tournament in Spain.

Singh told rediff.com on Tuesday morning that he is unaware of what transpired between Pillay and Indian Hockey Federation President K P S Gill.

"I am totally satisfied with the boys who have been picked," Singh said. "Only those who are fit have been selected. I do not know what transpired between Gillsaab and Dhanraj, following which he (Pillay)withdrew his name from the list of probables. As coach I can tell you there are no differences between me and him."

The Indian team, Singh added, needs to win all its matches to ensure that it qualifies for the Athens Games. Twelve teams in two pools will compete for seven places at the Olympics at the fortnight-long competition in Madrid from March 2 to 12.

"Australia, Germany, Egypt, South Korea and Argentina have already made it to Athens. We have a good, young, experienced team under the leadership of Dilip Tirkey," Singh said. "In our pool we face competition from Belgium, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, Poland and Pakistan. We have a good forward-line and a strong defence. The boys are in top shape and we expect to travel to Athens later this year for the Olympics."

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