Manpreet Singh: Patient and optimistic Graham Reid understands his players

Graham Reid’s ability to maintain his composure at all times makes him a special coach, according to Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh.

Manpreet Singh: Patient and optimistic Graham Reid understands his players

Understanding the pressure of being an athlete and being optimistic at all times are the stand-out qualities of head coach Graham Reid, said Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh.

India has played three tour matches and two Tests in Australia since Reid's appointment as the national team's head coach in April. He will begin his first major assignment on Thursday with the FIH Series Finals at Bhubaneswar.

“The best thing about Graham Reid is that he is always positive. He is someone who is always calm and composed. He is able to look at players who feel pressurised and motivates them in the training. He is very patient with us when he is explaining things to us and never gets irritated,” Manpreet told Sportstar.

Ahead of India's first match against Russia at the Kalinga Stadium, the midfielder stressed on the need for improved finishing and stronger defending, especially after India's defeats (4-0, 5-2) against Australia last month.

“The main thing is we would like to improve our finishing. (During Australia tour,) we have given away too many easy chances to Australia, which is another thing we have worked on and have improved,” Manpreet said.

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Reid’s time as coach of Dutch club Amsterdam has seen his teams playing a highly-intense direct style of hockey. When asked if fans will get to see India play a similar brand of hockey, Manpreet said: “He has been a player before and he understands what it takes to be an athlete. He has a very good idea on how to develop his style within this team and we will get there,” the Indian skipper said.

'Kya haal hai?'

Reid’s familiarity with India from his playing days and touring with the Netherlands team has helped him pick up a few Hindi words and the members of the Indian team have helped him some more.

“Few words like ‘Jaldi, Jaldi’, ‘Kaise Ho?’ are something which he already knows. We have taught him with some more such as ‘Kya haal hai?’, ‘Shukriya’. Its funny when he says them,” Manpreet said.

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Currently fifth in the world, the FIH rankings will be crucial for India in the upcoming months as the higher-ranked team will have the advantage of playing a two-legged tie at home. However, Manpreet is not looking too far ahead.

“For India to move up in the rankings, we have to primarily focus on the main FIH events and aim to win them,” he said.

Check out India’s full schedule, match timings in the Men’s Series Finals below:

Schedule for Men's Series Finals, Bhubaneswar (Timings in IST)

June 6, Thursday - Pool A - India vs Russia - 7pm

June 7, Friday - Pool A - India vs Poland - 7pm

June 10, Monday - Pool A - India vs Uzbekistan - 7pm

 

June 12, Wednesday

- Cross-over 1 (C1) - 2nd Pool A vs 3rd Pool B - 5pm

- Cross-over 2 (C2) - 2nd Pool B vs 2nd Pool A - 7.15pm

- For 7th/8th place - 4th Pool A vs 4th Pool B - 8.45pm

 

June 14, Friday

- Semifinal 1 - 1st Pool A vs Winner of C2  - 5pm

- Semifinal 2 - 1st Pool B vs Winner of C1 - 7.15pm

- For 5th/6th place - Loser of C1 vs Lose or C2 - 8.45pm

 

June 15, Saturday - Final - 7.15pm

- 3rd/4th place match - 5pm