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Indian team is focused, Sandeep will be missed: Bhaskran

Written by: Staff
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Gurgaon, Aug 24 (UNI) Chief National Coach Vasudevan Bhaskran today promised a good showing by the Indian hockey team in the World Cup to be played in Germany next month but admitted that ''absence of drag flicker Sandeep Singh will be felt.'' ''The players are focused and determined to do well,'' Bhaskran said but added ''It is not easy to predict the final outcome of the World Cup.'' ''I was hopeful of making it to the semifinals. It is not a very tall order but Sandeep's sudden injury has upset our plans, but I am happy to see players putting this incident behind them and are now concentrating on the game.

''Sandeep was shaping up well and had improved a lot and our game plan also revolved around him, but now we will have to recast our stretegy. One has to take these incidents in strides. Things go on and so is our prepration,'' the chief coach said.

Bhaskran, who led India to their last Olympic gold way back in 1980 at Moscow said he will test the three players -- R Raghunath, Jugraj Singh and Vikramjit Singh -- shortlisted to replace Sandeep before taking any final decision as who should be in the side.

He seemed pleased the way players had shaped up in the training camp under the supervision of Australian trainer Derek Knox.

''The boys have shaped well under Knox. All are in good physical condition,'' he said but added, ''World cup is a different ball game and it is not easy to say how the team will perform on a given day.'' He expressed full confidence in the players saying ''they are a determined and committed lot. have full faith in the boys and i am sure they are going to give their best.'' The Dilip Tirkey led team is leaving for Germany late tonight.

The Indians will play some friendly matches in Colonge before going to to Monchengladbach the venue of the World Cup.

World Cup is slated from September 6 to 17.

UNI HSB DH ND1806

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