Despite injuries we have guys who can score for India: Oltmans


New Delhi: India might be grappling with injuries in its forwardline but High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans today reposed faith on his young crop of strikers to score goals and help India win the upcoming Asia Cup and qualify for the World Cup hockey next year.Star forward S V Sunil and strikers Akashdeep Singh, Danish Mujtaba and Gurwinder Singh Chandi -- all were ruled out of the Asia Cup because of injuries but Oltmans said he has players who can score goals for India."I don't think there would be too much pressure. We scored one penalty corner and five field goals today (against ONGC). We have guys who can score," said Oltmans, who has been appointed as the interim chief coach of the men's team after Michael Nobbs' ouster."Mandeep have scored a lot of goals in Hockey India League. Prabhdeep (Singh) is a goal scorer. Nithin (Thimmaiah) was the top-scorer in the nationals."Of course, they are young. But that doesn't mean they are not good. They are good and they have showed that. There will be a lot of young faces," he added.Oltmans said he will take one match at a time in Asia Cup to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia from August 24 to September 1, a tournament which India need to win to qualify for 2014 World Cup in Hague, The Netherlands."Every tournament starts with one opponent and for us that is Oman. That is how a tournament should be approached. For me it is the first game that counts and at the moment we are working on our structures and way of playing. Of course we are making analysis of other teams which we might face in the tournament," he said.Asked about the defence, which is considered to be India's Achilles' heel, Oltmans said: "I was quite pleased with our defence in the second half today. We tried to regain position quickly. That means the whole team is defending. We always talk about defence. There are 10 defenders and one goalkeeper, so I have 11 defenders. It is the structure of the defence which matters and we are working on that."Oltmans said he is not concerned about things which are not in his hand and would just look to give his cent per cent."I am a realistic person. I have six weeks to prepare a team for a very important tournament and the team is working very hard to get the best. That's all which is there in my hand. I always gave my 100 per cent, and always will," he said.Asked how he will motivate the team to not take pressure, Oltmans said: "They don't feel pressure any more. There is only one person who takes the pressure and that is me. They have to just play the game of hockey, let the pressure be mine."Asked about the new goalkeeping coach, David Staniforth of South Africa, he said: "He will be coming tomorrow. The good thing is our goalkeepera are very good. We have worked very hard. There are few details which I have discussed with our new goalkeeping coach, which areas he will work."In the camp we don't need more goalkeepers. In the end we need just two. It is good when there is talent in the goalkeeping area. So we are scouting new goalkeepers which we believe can take over in a couple of years."P T Rao is a fantastic guy and he is very good second goalkeeper in every way. In the group dynamics he is a very important member. He is always pushing. At this moment, I'm very happy with P T Rao."Asked if he had time to think about the new coach, Oltmans said: "At this moment, my focus is not really on that area. From September, I will focus my energy on the coach issue. I know that is my responsibility."India goalkeeper P R Sreejesh today said he is hoping that all his experience comes into play and helps him to perform at the Asia Cup."The pressure is there but I don't take pressure. If I keep thinking about what would happen if we don't qualify then I will feel pressure and it will affect the game. I think it is time to use my experience and deliver," he said.Asked about India's young forwardline, Sreejesh said: "The forwards are inexperienced. They are young and we have to work on them a lot."P T Rao has a good domestic experience and I think goalkeepers are like wine, so with so much experience he will do well," he said.Asked about how the team is coping with Oltmans style of coaching after Michael Nobbs's contract was terminated, he said: "Every coach has a different style, Oltmans' style is similar to Jose Brasa and we seniors have played under Brasa so he have no problems. It is the European style of playing.""We are focusing on making strategies on specific teams. We are working on man-to-man marking and on saving oenalty corners and tightening the defence," he added.

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