Eindhoven [Netherlands], June 6 (ANI): After ending their London campaign on a high, winning back-to-back matches against Belgium and Great Britain, the Indian Men's Hockey Team look to retain the top spot in FIH Hockey Pro League.
Having played 12 matches so far, India is only two points behind current leaders Great Britain (26 points), and the team led by Harmanpreet Singh are all set for the challenge against the Netherlands and Argentina this week.
"We had some learnings from the first weekend. It is never good to lose two games in a row but we had a really good response for the next two games. The team played really well and deserved the win against Belgium (5-1). It's tough to play back-to-back matches, GB was coming into the second match fresh while we had just played Belgium the previous evening. They are a good team and managed to score in the end after we had established the lead but it was nice to win a shootout 4-4 (SO 4-2)," said Chief Coach Craig Fulton as quoted by Hockey India.
Speaking about the takeaways from the matches, Fulton said, "There was a much-improved performance in the second weekend, particularly in our defensive structure and the team also displayed good mentality."Adding to Fulton's views, Captain Harmanpreet Singh said as quoted by Hockey India, "I think our counter-attacks were also good in the second match against Belgium and GB. Playing back-to-back matches against two teams who play a very different style is always challenging but we worked on areas that could bring us back in the game.""Our PC defence was a good takeaway too," added Harmanpreet who currently leads the chart for highest goals this season with 16 goals to his name.
Expressing confidence on the back of the success in London, Fulton stated that the team will take it one match at a time in Eindhoven where they will play Netherlands on the 7th and 10th of June while they play Argentina on the 8th and 11th June. While Netherlands is placed 8th in the pool table after four matches, they have played so far, Argentina are placed 5th after 12 matches in the League this season.
"We want to take it one game at a time. We play four games back-to-back and we will look at it as two games in each block. It's more about us rather than the opponents. It's about the way we want to play and the improvements we want to make in each block we play.""Taking on Netherlands in their home ground is always challenging. We want to do well against both teams. We want to try and perform to our best in every game," signed off Fulton. (ANI)