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ACT M 2016 Kuantan
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ACT M 2016: Indian coach: Our team is becoming men (10/30/2016)
--s2h team
Our team is becoming mentally tough

Indians may not over all be happy with the way their national hockey team performing in the Kuantan Asian Champions Trophy, especially failing to win Korea in the regulation time twice in a week but coach Roelant Oltmans sees brighter side of the Korean tangle and feels Indian team has learnt to overcome tight situations and winning in Kuantan.

undefined “Am very happy the way my team fought back to share points. They trailed but did not go down, but fought their way back to count. This is what counts. Previous teams perhaps would not have done that”, the Dutchman said moments after India winning the shoot out against Korea in the first semi-final.

“I must say this team is mentally very strong. Fights till the end”. Appraising the team’s performance in the semis in particular, the coach said: “We had three excellent quarters. We could have put it away more goals in those spells, but Koreans were a strong side. Strength of the Korean team is they are not conceding many goals in the entire tournament, and that’s the way it is”.

“Its very difficult to play that kind of teams. We cannot attack as they overcrowd there, and then depend on counters for goals. With fast players at our hand we did”.

"Teams are defensive, its understandable. Teams tend to play defensive with higher tanked teams. Teams are searching for tactics how to bet us. In this tournament, except second half of Malaysia, other teams played totally defensively against us”.

“Its normal, we also do the same with our rivals who are ranked above us. That may not be the attractive hockey, but its results that count. That the Koreans drew us twice shows such tactics is relevant and successful”

. “In the first quarter, we went too much and kept attacking against total defensive game of Korea. But they won’t come up, and attack. In such situations its difficult for us to split and overcome”.

He had a word of praise for Sardar Singh who class and opportunism saw India levelling 2-2 six minutes before the hooter. undefined

“Sardar is an import team member. He was a little bit sloppy in the first half, he was far better in the second. You need in the team someone take the lead in tough situations which he assumed and he did. That’s why he is in the team. He set up a fantastic action that led to goal”.

On reminded the referral against Indian goalie PR Sreejesh saving a goal resembled of London Champions Trophy, he smiled and said: “ My point of view is that it was not a stroke situation. Sreejesh tackled the forward well. The forward was not moving with stick, there was a gap between him and Sree, this doesn’t warrant stroke.

“I haven’t seen everyone scoring in the shoot out, and it happened today. In the end am happy with the way things went”.

On the choice of his rival for the final, he had to say: “I will not be surprised the other semifinal will also go in to shoot out”.

”The most important game is still to come in the tournament” was his parting shot.

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