We are playing good hockey but also struggling at times, says Harmanpreet

India men’s hockey captain Harmanpreet Singh feels his side is playing good hockey but only in patches and this will have to be ironed out in the upcoming FIH Pro League games here as the team prepares for the ultimate test at the Paris Olympics.

The side is currently third in the table with 21 points from 12 matches. Harmanpreet’s side will take on Germany and Great Britain, sixth and ninth on the charts, in the decisive London leg of the Pro League, which commences here on Saturday. India will first take on the Germans.

India are coming into the London leg of the Pro League on the back of a mixed performance in Antwerp, Belgium where they won two hard-fought matches against Argentina and lost an equal number of games to the hosts.

“We played scintillating hockey in some moments while we struggled in a few others, but the team is constantly improving,” Harmanpreet said in a Hockey India release on Friday.

“We also used this opportunity to give some match experience to the younger players in the squad and improve our overall chemistry,” he added.

The skipper added that playing some tough matches against Argentina and Belgium, which will help the side.

“We played some intense matches against Argentina and Belgium in Antwerp, both in the same pool as us in the Paris 2024 Olympics. The aim in these upcoming matches (in London) will be to get out of our blocks early, work on our combinations and positioning to make sure we play to the best of our abilities.” He added it was absolutely necessary to do well in London to be ready for the Olympics.

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“We are aware that the London stage of Pro League will be crucial in our preparations for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics, hence we are looking forward to taking on Germany and Great Britain,” Harmanpreet added.

Following Saturday’s game, India will again take on Germany again on June 8. They will play Great Britain on June 2 and 9.

Women in rebuilding phase

The Indian women’s hockey captain Salima Tete said her side is in a “rebuilding phase” after failing to qualify for the Olympics and the Pro League matches here will give the team much-needed boost.

“We are currently in a rebuilding phase, and we are looking to take it one game at a time. We are confident that the upcoming games will help us better understand our chemistry within the team and improve going forward,” she said.

The women are placed seventh on the Pro League table with eight points in 12 matches and will also take on Germany and Great Britain on the same dates as their male counterparts.

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