Brasa lists ills of Indian hockey

March 12th, 2010 - 11:58 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) A weak defence, missed chances and poor showing from seasoned campaigners like Prabhjot Singh and Deepak Thakur spoiled India’s chances in the World Cup, chief coach Jose Brasa said after the side finished eighth following a 2-4 loss to Argentina here Friday.
“We have to see if we can have other players taking their (Prabhjot and Deepak Thakur) position. We had tried some junior players. But we found they were not any better. So we decided to continue with the two because of their experience,” Brasa said at the post-match media conference here.

“The players who are here in the team, are there because they are the best available. But maybe, later on we can decide to give opportunity to the juniors, keeping the future in mind.”

Brasa said the team’s main problems lay “inside our D and in the opponent D.”

“We played well from the top of our circle to the top of the rivals’ circle. We scored some good goals. The goal, that was disallowed on video referral, against South Africa was the best in the World Cup,” he said.

On Prabhjot, Brasa said his ‘main function’ was to score goals, but he failed to live up to the expectations. “But at the Champions Challenge tournament at Salta last December, he scored goals.”

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The Spaniard said drag-flicker Sandeep Singh was inconsistent. “He can be a good drag-flicker and a very good player. But sometimes he plays well, and sometimes he does not.”

He said Sandeep started off well with two goals against Pakistan, but could not reproduce the success in the later matches. However, Brasa also blamed the slow track. “For instance, today Sandeep had problems as the track was slow.”

The India coach was unhappy with India’s showing and concerned at the defence conceding the most number of goals after South Africa and Canada.

Asked about the roadmap for Indian hockey, Brasa said there should be tours, preceded and followed by training for a month.

“We must organise the itinerary in such a way that there were three-four-five weeks of training before the tours. We also need training before playing practice games and also ahead of big tournament. Also, we should play matches before big tournaments”.

On the game against Argentina, Brasa said the team suffered as Argentina’s Fernando Zylberberg was left unmarked and the defence allowed two rival players to play freely inside the D.

“We had more ball possession. We also attacked a lot. We got several chances to score, but missed. They entered our D less than ten times and scored four goals. We got in 40 times, but scored only two,” he said.

Asked whether the Indian players were not being able to translate gameplans into action, he said: “Maybe. It takes time to change the way you play”.

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