India is shaping well ahead of the Pakistan fixture, says Chief Coach Harendra Singh

Muscat, Oct 19 (UNI) Indian Men’s Hockey team Chief Coach Harendra Singh says his team has shrugged off the disappointment of the Asian Games and is shaping well ahead of the Hero Asian Champions Trophy encounter against Pakistan on Saturday, October 20.

Title holders India started the tournament with a runaway 11-0 victory over hosts Oman on Thursday, while former champions Pakistan will take on South Korea in their first fixture later Friday before the showpiece sub-continental hockey encounter takes place.

“The competitive part of the tournament starts Saturday with the match against Pakistan,” said Harendra, who admitted the dejection within the squad when they failed to defend the Asian Games title in Jakarta.

“After the semi-final loss in the Asian Games, the mood was not good for a few days,” admitted Harendra. “The disappointment of not winning the Asian Games gold is still playing on the minds of the players somewhat, but we cannot keep thinking of the past.”

“We are now focused on this tournament and the side is shaping well. Nine of our players scored goals against Oman in the first outing here at the Hero Asian Champions Trophy,” the Indian Chief Coach said.

“Victory here in the Hero Asian Champions Trophy will be a good path for the World Cup just over a month away. This tournament is close of the World Cup, but we need competitive matches and we are getting them,” he said.