Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh has shifted focus to the upcoming knockout matches of the ongoing Hockey World Cup after confirming a spot in the quarter-final of the prestigious tournament.
The skipper asserted that with league matches coming to an end, knockout matches are more important and they need to work really hard for their upcoming games. “Next match is important as the league matches are over. Upcoming matches will be knockout matches so they are more important,” Manpreet told ANI.
Reflecting on their performance in their last league match against Canada, in which they won 5-1, he said that despite making some mistakes in the second quarter, the team made a good comeback to clinch a comprehensive victory in the end.
“Our first quarter (in the match against Canada) went really well. In the second quarter, we missed out on some things. In the third quarter, however, we made a comeback. Lalit (Upadhyay) created some pressure on the opposition resulting in a second goal for us. We made our mistakes but managed to make a strong comeback,” he said.
Indian coach Harendra Singh also stressed the importance of upcoming matches saying that the real tournament has started now.
“It (Ending on top of the pool C) is just the one step that we have taken in the right direction. I am happy that with the effort but the actual tournament will start with the knockout matches,” Harendra said at a press conference.
Talking about his plan ahead of the upcoming crucial games, the coach said that they have “done their homework and are focusing on their target.”
Man of the Match in the clash against Canada, Lalit Upadhyay, credited Coach Harendra Singh for his impressive performance in the match saying he understands “players’ abilities on a deep level and knows where they can contribute.