Will leave ‘no stone unturned’ to take India to podium in HWC: Harendra Singh

Bhubaneswar: As hockey fever pitches sky high with the buildup to the much-awaited Men’s Hockey World Cup at the Kalinga Stadium here later this month, the hosts India looks all pumped up to claim the biggest silverware in the game at its home ground.

In an exclusive chit chat, OTV caught up with the head coach of team India Harendra Singh. Here are some excerpts from the interview.

After the junior team won the World Cup in 2016, how far do you think can the senior team go?

As far as we all can think. We will leave no stone unturned to make team India reach the podium at this year’s World Cup. But we want to concentrate each match one by one and not worry about the final. All the 16 teams are capable of winning the silverware but team India is confident as we are playing at home and in front of people of Odisha who come in huge numbers to support their team.

You have been practising at the venue since past one month. Do you think it will give you an additional advantage?

Of course, since practising at the venue makes you more aware about the nitty-gritty of the pitch and the climate.

Which team do you think will be the biggest challenge for team India and why?

India itself, because we believe that we have to fight against ourselves first. If we get success in that game, we can win against anyone.

What is the general mood of the players right now? Are they excited or pressurised to peform better?

There is no question of any pressure as the players are confident and this is a great opportunity for them to perform well and win.

What do you think will be more crucial, field goal or penalty corner?

I think a balanced combination of both field goals and penalty corners is essential for better performance of the team.

Bhubaneswar is hosting the fourteenth edition of the most prestigious hockey competition in the world which will consist of a total of 36 matches spanning over 19 days.
The first match will see World No. 3 Belgium take on World No. 11 Canada on November 28 at the 15,000-seater Kalinga Hockey Stadium. Host nation and World No. 5 India will also be in action on the same day as they open their campaign against World No. 15 South Africa.