When coach is replaced, players face difficulty: India captain Sardar Singh

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New Delhi, July 30: Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh today conceded that constant changing of coaches is never easy to deal with but insisted that his team's prospects in the upcoming foreign assignments and next year's Olympics won't be affected by the recent developments.

Indian hockey has been going through turbulent times with Paul van Ass becoming the fourth foreign coach in recent times to be unceremoniously sacked following differences with the national federation. Sardar admitted that the rhythm of the team is affected by such changes.

File photo of Sardar Singh (right)

"When a coach is replaced, the players face difficulty. The team's strategy also changes with the change in coach and it takes time in building the side. But we are positive about the Olympics and the upcoming tours," said Sardar Singh ahead of the team's departure for the tour of Europe.

Newly-appointed coach and also the High performance Director, Roelant Oltmans echoed the sentiment and hoped that the side would come good in the European tournaments following a good 10-day training session here.

"We had a good training session. Players also worked hard in different areas including basic physical exercise, technical skills, defending and attacking part of hockey," said Oltmans.

Asked about the ups and downs that the team has been through, the coach said, "Yes there are ups and downs but we are improving those areas."

"We are focusing on the attitude of how to win the games, how to create goal scoring opportunity, as only playing is not important," said the Indian coach.

Listing his objectives Oltmans said, his priority as of now is the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro next year. The coach emphasised on the areas which need improvement.

"Our defending, attacking, penalty corners and much important is the coordination among players. It needs improvement but our players are physically and mentally fit so they can improve," he added.

Admitting that he is in line of fire after taking over as coach, Oltmans said despite the pressure, he is "very stable".

PTI

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