'Indian Men's Hockey Team look to continue winning form against Pak'

ANI | Updated: Oct 21, 2017 09:01 IST

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Oct 21 (ANI): The team will be focused on improving their performance from their previous outing where they beat Pakistan 3-1 in the Pool stage, stated Indian Men's Hockey team Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne, as the team gears up for yet another encounter with Pakistan on Saturday, here at the Hero Asia Cup 2017 Super 4s stage.

"We were happy with the win against Pakistan in our previous match but we know we can perform better. On Saturday, we will go into the match focusing on our structure and stick to the game plan we have against Pakistan," expressed the 43-year-old Dutchman.

India have sailed through the tournament showcasing impressive form. They notched up three successive wins in the Pool stage but the forward line was put to test against a highly defensive Korean side in their first Super 4s match.

India mustered a goal in the 59th minute to settle for a draw but bounced back into the Super 4s with an astounding 6-2 win against Malaysia, who have in the past year beaten India twice. India showed sublime skills in their clinical demolition of the Malaysian side and will look to carry on the winning form.

Though India are on top of the table with four points from one draw and one win, Malaysia are close second with three points from their win against Pakistan, while Korea have two points from two draws and Pakistan are at No.4 with one point. Yet, the Pool is open for any of these teams to make the Final.

"Because the stage is open for anybody to make the Final, it is exciting to the last moment. As a Coach I want my players to perform under pressure and this is the best way to create that scenario. For us, at this moment, it is a lot important to play top international matches because we can raise our level," he added.

He further emphasised that the team will make most of the exposure they gain from this tournament going into an all-important Odisha Hockey World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 this December.

"In Super 4s we get to play more matches and the team is tested at a top level. We must be our best in every game. I think this format is especially good for us now as we go into the Odisha Men's World League Final Bhubaneswar 2017 in December," Marijne expressed.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Coach Farhat Khan expressed that his team, especially their forward line, needs to go all-out against India if they want to be in the Final.

"We not just need to win against India but we need to win with a big margin (at least 3 goals) so we make the Final by the virtue of goal difference. But it is going to be easier said than done because I am not happy with how our forwards have performed in this tournament. We have missed many opportunities in the circle and against India we cannot misfire," asserted the Coach.

India will take on Pakistan today at 5 pm ( 17.00 hours IST), in their last Super 4s encounter. (ANI)