Gurjant Singh- Consistency against top sides crucial ahead of Tokyo Olympics

The Indian hockey team began its FIH Pro League campaign on a positive note by defeating the Netherlands in both its matches last month.

Forward Gurjant Singh (in white) said that the team needs to put up good performances consistently. (File Photo)   -  R. RAVINDRAN

Forward Gurjant Singh on Thursday said that consistent performances against top sides in the world will be crucial for the Indian men’s hockey team ahead of the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

India began its FIH Pro League campaign on a positive note by defeating the Netherlands in both its matches last month, and Gurjant said performances like that have boosted the confidence of the team in the Olympic year.

“This is a very crucial time for us. Every match is very important for us. We are coordinating and playing well as a unit. We have to ensure that we keep putting up good performances consistently,” Gurjant said.

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“Each and every player in the team has the Olympics in their mind and we are working towards doing well at the tournament,” he added.

Ranked fifth in the word, the Indian team will face a bigger challenge when it takes on Belgium on Saturday and Sunday in Bhubaneswar.

The 25-year-old said that India is confident heading into Saturday’s match since it performed brilliantly during its tour of Belgium last year.

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“We had a great tour of Belgium last year, we won all our matches there. That result certainly gives us a lot of confidence. All the FIH Hockey Pro League matches will help us prepare for the Olympics. All the top teams in the world are playing this tournament.

“Now the Indian team is performing well. We beat the Netherlands last month, who are ranked third in the world. So the team’s morale is quite high at the moment,” Gurjant said.

India registered an impressive win against the Netherlands after trailing 1-3 in its second match last month.

“After such a victory, the team’s morale gets a major boost. So one can say that the Indian men’s hockey team is a good chaser as well. We can come from behind and win the match and that too against the World No. 3 side. So such victories motivate us as individuals and as a team. It makes the side mentally stronger.”

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