Wed, 27 Sep 2023

London [UK], June 1 (ANI): Undeterred by the setbacks faced in the previous outing against Belgium and hosts Great Britain, the Indian men's hockey team are geared up for a stiff challenge in the upcoming matches in the FIH Hockey Pro League at the Lee Valley Stadium in London.

While India will face off against reigning Olympic Champions Belgium on Friday they will take on table-toppers Great Britain on Saturday. Emphasizing on the team's structure, India Captain Harmanpreet expressed confidence in his team's quest to return to the top of the table, "We are not letting the two losses last week play on our minds. We still have six more matches to play and we know that if we play to the structure and execute good finishes, we will be able to return to the top of the pool table."The visitors lost 1-2 to Belgium in their first match played last week and went down 2-4 against Great Britain. Though the results were not what they expected, the team did have some takeaways from the two matches, explained Harmanpreet who achieved a new milestone of being the leading goal-scorer in the history of Pro League with 35 goals.

"Both opponents play very different styles. While one (Belgium) plays zonal, the other (GB) plays man-to-man. But there were some takeaways from those two matches. Though we didn't create that many field goals, we did get some good PCs. There are some areas we also worked on, in these past few days and the focus will continue to be on defending well," Harmanpreet opined.

India Vice Captain Hardik Singh, leading India's charge in the midfield, also highlighted the efforts of newcomers in the squad. "I think after the Rourkela matches, there was a bit of a gap to play highly competitive matches. It will take some time particularly for the youngsters to settle in and make the right connections to score goals.""This is a big platform for youngsters like Sukhjeet, Karthi and even Abhishek who are playing in London for the first time and Sanjay also made a good debut. There are a lot of positives from the first two matches here which they will be working on to carry forward in the upcoming matches," signed off the young midfielder. (ANI)

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