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November 16, 2017

Team management has to overcome weaknesses: Sardar


November 16, 2017

KARACHI: Chairman selection committee Hasan Sardar has said it is the job of the team management to address the weaknesses which were the reasons for Pakistan’s defeats in Australia.

“The management has to teach the players how to finish the game,” he said while talking to ‘The News’. “The team was selected out of the best players available in the country.

Pakistan hockey team has returned home after facing humiliating defeats in all four matches in the four-nation hockey tournament in Australia.

This was the third consecutive international event in which Pakistan did poorly. He said that the weaknesses which had been identified during Asia Cup were not overcome. He said that the players should be mentally strong to win matches.

“The team has lost matches after taking lead. In the dying moments we concede goals. That is because of the players’ inability to cope up with the pressure when the opponents charge,” he said. “It is a matter of great concern. Australia are far better than us, but we should not have lost against Japan and New Zealand. New Zealand are also a better side but we took lead against them and were winning until the last three minutes,” said Sardar, a former Pakistan captain.

He said that there was need for penalty corner drills and for improving defence. “The goal keeper’s performance is also not satisfactory,” he added.He said that Pakistan would have to play many events in the coming year. “We have to be prepared for Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Champions Trophy and then the World Cup. We have to overcome our shortcomings before these tournaments,” he said.

“The team is passing through a reconstruction process and we have no other option to improve the team except trying the players who are the best in the country,” he said. He said that the national championship in Sukkur in December would be the best opportunity for those senior and junior players who have not been selected for recent tournaments. “They must play well and show their skills, form and fitness to get selected in the coming events. We will monitor the performance of the players in the national championship, especially of those senior players who are not part of the team currently,” Sardar said.

He said Asian Games and Commonwealth Games would be important and before these events the management must work on each of the weaknesses which were identified first in Asia Cup and then in the four-nation tournaments.

Sardar said the three matches against the World XI that would be visiting Pakistan soon would also be a good opportunity for the players to regain confidence which they had lost because of the recent defeats.

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