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Hopeful of strong show: Sandeep

Published: 01st July 2012 01:45 PM  |   Last Updated: 01st July 2012 01:45 PM   |  A+A-

INDIAN-HOKEY

India’s drag-flicker Sandeep Singh has learned to attune himself to the exorbitant demands of a success-starved nation, still lazing in the resplendent history of the halcyonic yesteryears. Not just one of the most experienced campaigners in the Indian team, but also a match-winner of unflustered potenti­al, the former captain took time off to speak to SS bef­o­re leaving for Europe. Excer­pts from an interview...

On the pressure of expectations

There is of course pressure on each one of us, but with experience you cope up with it better. Being a drag-flicker, peo­ple expect me to convert every time. I also hope to do us and put everything into the shot. Sometimes I find the target and sometimes I don’t. I’ll be happy if I can convert at least 90 percent of the chances.

On India’s realistic ch­an­ces at the Games

We will take it match by ma­tch and not take any pressu­re on ourselves. There are a lot of young players in our squad but everyone is mature enou­gh to not let the expectations get the better of them. The te­­am has improved a lot in the recent times and there has be­en a great stress on fitness. This has helped us compete toe to toe with the top sides.

On the blue astro turf

It certainly looks bright and flashy. Initially we all found it tough to adjust, but having played a few times on the pit­ch we are now used to it and furthermore we are playing on the blue turf in France and Spain. So that should make us more familiar to it. But a fresh turf, irrespective of its colour, won’t be easy to play on for some time. From a drag-flicking perspective, it isn’t the easiest because there could be a bit of uneven bounce.

On his memories of the Athens Olympics

I was just 18 then and a bit raw. I was quite tense but a few minutes into my first ma­t­ch I felt confident. There were ti­­ght matches, in wh­ich our oppo­nents scored late go­als to win or draw the match. We conceded a late go­­al (69th) against Argentina as well. Hopefully, we will do much better.



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