European experience should stand in good stead for Olympics: NobbsJune 24th, 2012 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 24 (IANS) India hockey coach Michael Nobbs warned his boys Sunday that there won’t be room for errors against top European teams at the London Olympics.
Nobbs said the tour of Europe ahead of the Games will help his team iron out its flaws ahead of the Games. The Indian team will play a three-match Test series in France and two invitational tournaments in Spain that also involve South Africa and Great Britain.
“I have always maintained that we have to play against best teams in the world. I am confident that the matches that we will play in the coming few days will boost the confidence of the boys
. The boys will realise that there is no room for error when you ply against top European teams. They will punish you hard. This experience will come handy in the Games,” said Nobbs ahead of the team’s departure for Europe.
Asked where he would expect the team to finish, Nobbs said: “It is difficult to predict. With a little bit of luck we can do wonders (in the Olympics). We are really a talented side but the boys need to have belief and absolute confidence in their abilities.”
India captain Bharat Chetri concurred with the coach and said the team is not going to London to make up the numbers.
“We are not just going there (London) to participate in the Olympics we want to do something for the country. A medal in London will mean a lot for Indian hockey as it help in reigniting interests for the game among youngsters. Semi-final is our first target and it is possible if every single player give his 70-80 per cent on the field,” he said.
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