Having made stunning comeback by winning back-to-back matches against Belgium and Great Britain, India’s new hockey coach Craig Fulton on Tuesday exuded confidence that his team will regain the top spot in FIH 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 on Wednesday and Argentina on Thursday in Eindhoven.
Talking to media person virtually from Eindhoven, The Netherlands, the coach said “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, Great Britain 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),”
“There was a much-improved performance in the second weekend, particularly in our defensive structure and the team also displayed good mentality.”
Opined Fulton on the four matches played in London.
About the coming matches, coach said that the team will take it one-match-at-a-time in Eindhoven where they will play Netherlands on 7th and 10th June while they play Argentina on 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,” Fulton added.
Agreeing with Fulton’s views, Captain Harmanpreet Singh said, “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 the drag flicker, leads the chart for highest goals this season with 16 goals to his name.