Hockey can end in the top 4 at the Tokyo Olympics, says Captain Manpreet Singh

BHUBANESWAR: Indian men hockey The team rushed to leave behind the disappointment of the 2018 World Cup and focused on its only goal for 2019, which was to qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympics . Now that the goal has been achieved, the team's eyes are ready to finish in the top four in the prestigious quadrennial event.

We have nine months to prepare for the Olympic Games and the plan is to improve every day, in each session we train. Under head coach Graham Reid, there is already a solid process and we just have to stay and I am sure that the result will continue, said the captain Manpreet Singh .

"The team strongly believes we have a good shot at finishing in top four at the Tokyo Olympics and once we make the semifinal, it can be anybody's game from there onwards."

After winning the consecutive Asian Champions trophy in 2016 and 2018, the team will attempt to claim the title for the third time in a row when the biannual tournament returns in 2020.

We definitely have in mind defending the title of the Asian Champions Trophy. It will be sweet to make a hat-trick, but we would like to do it step by step, tournament by tournament, said the Indian captain. said.

Manpreet also believes that the increase in the group of players that have international standards was also another big positive for the team in 2019.

I think the year 2019 was full of positive aspects. Our most important goal was to make the Olympic qualification and in that search we collectively improved as a team and performed consistently. I think retaining our world ranking (No.5) was also a moral injection.

We saw many young people play their first international game. It is good to have a strong group of players who have the ability to handle pressure internationally. This is an advantage, especially now that we play consecutively FIH Hockey Pro League matches, he added.

Highlighting the team's goal for this year, Manpreet said: Our immediate goal is to do well in the FIH Hockey Pro League. Yesterday we had a meeting in which we gave our opinion to the head coach and discussed what we should do if we want to win against teams like Holland, Belgium and Australia, against whom we play in January and February.