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"Tokyo Olympics podium finish remains ultimate goal" - India men’s hockey skipper Manpreet Singh

India players and support staff after their successful Argentina tour. (Source: HI)
India players and support staff after their successful Argentina tour. (Source: HI)
Kaushiik Paul
SENIOR ANALYST

Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh has warned his teammates not to look into the results but to focus on areas of improvement after the conclusion of their successful Argentina tour. The Indians registered four wins, one draw and one loss during their two-week stay in the Latin American country.

The Indians started off with a 4-3 win and a 4-4 draw in the first two practice games. Keeping their unbeaten run intact, the Men in Blue won 2-2 (3-2) and 3-0 in their two FIH Pro League matches over the weekend.

However, India succumbed to their maiden loss when Argentina beat them by a solitary goal in the third practice game. The Manpreet Singh-led side ended the tour with a 4-2 win in the final practice game. The Indian skipper urged his teammates to keep their heads down and work on improving themselves.

“No doubt winning against a really strong team like Argentina in their home ground is a big confidence booster, but we shouldn’t read too much into the results. We need to keep our heads down and remain focused on the areas that require improvement basis our performance here. Our task is not over until we stand on the podium in Tokyo,” Manpreet said.

Manpreet Singh lauds India's ability to come back

Speaking about takeaways from the tour, the 28-year-old also pointed out the team’s ability to come back despite falling behind. Trailing 1-2 in the first FIH Pro League tie, Manpreet earned a penalty corner in the dying seconds of the game which Harmanpreet converted to force a shootout.

“After the matches, we feel there are a few areas we need to improve upon. While we did well as a team to come back into the game even in the dying minutes of the match, we feel we could have started better. Also playing consistently, keeping up the pressure on the opponents in all quarters is another area we need to work on,” he stated.
India skipper Manpreet Singh discusses a point to teammates. (Source: HI)
India skipper Manpreet Singh discusses a point to teammates. (Source: HI)

The Indian team will be returning to the country early next week and will head directly to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) center in Bengaluru. India are slated to play six FIH Pro League matches next month in Europe.

India are scheduled to take on Great Britain on May 8 and 9 in London followed by a double-header against Spain in Valencia on May 15 and 16. They will play Germany in Hamburg on May 22 and 23.

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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