India can win a medal in London Games: Subbaiah

Written by: Aprameya .C

Indian hockey team
Bangalore, Feb 28: It is a great piece of news that the Indian hockey team has qualified for the London Olympics. However, to make the news even sweeter, the team now needs to win a medal, which is everybody's wish. And India's goalkeeping coach A.B. Subbaiah feels this team has the potential to achieve that feat.

India made it to London 2012 with a crushing 8-1 over France at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. Now, the team is preparing for its next major target, that is securing a medal after having failed to feature in the previous Games in Beijing in 2008.

"This team has the potential to win a medal in London. I don't think why we should not think India as one of the strong contenders in England," Subbaiah told on Tuesday.

The former India goalkeeper, however, felt that the team needs to improve a bit on defence.

"The team is now in the attacking mode, thanks to the change of strategy from coach Michael Nobbs. However, in the next few months we need to focus on improving our defence," added Subbaiah.

The former Olympian and the rest of the coaching staff are awaiting qualification of two more teams which have to qualify to complete the line-up for the Games and then, he says, they will start planning accordingly.

"We still have two more teams to qualify for the Games. Once they are decided, we will have the groups in place. Then, India can start planning on how to play against each opposition," he said.

Subbaiah explained how the team's morale was so low when they did not qualify for the Beijing Games 2008 and four years later it is a fine turnaround.

"The morale in the team was very low when we missed the bus to Beijing. There are few players now who were also part of those lows then. They have definitely turned it around. All those players deserve to be playing in Olympics," he explained.

"We are now focused on make this team as a formidable one before we get into the tournament in London," he added.

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