These tough matches will prepare us for Rio 2016: Oltmans

Bhubaneswar: Having masterminded Belgium’s ouster from the Champions Trophy Hockey tournament with a perfect strategy, India’s high performance director Roelant Oltmans is eyeing many such encounters before the team gets ready for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

India came back from a two-goal deficit to thrash Belgium 4-2 and entered the semi-finals of the elite 8-nation tournament for the second successive edition.

“We have beaten higher teams earlier this year. But this win will give us confidence. The Olympics is 20-odd months away and so we need this type tough matches more,” Oltmans told reporters after the terrific victory.

“We made a comeback from 0-2 down that shows the mental strength of the players,” Oltmans applauded the efforts of Sardar Singh and Co.

“They are slowly understanding what international hockey is all about. They are understanding how to execute plans and be consistent,” the legendary Dutchman said.

“Our execution was better today. Our performance in the first quarter was not so good but we showed mental strength to comeback and win the match. The players today solved the problems as a team,” Oltmans added.

The coach said they took their pool matches as preparation for the crucial quarterfinal duel.

“Our pool matches were preparations for this match. I told boys this is our ‘D Day’ and the win over Holland put us in the right mode. I am proud of my boys,” Oltmans signed off.