Jakarta: When India led 14-0 at half time against minnows Hong Kong China, chief coach Harendra Singh gave just one instruction to his players – ‘be ruthless and create your legacy’. The team did just that and erased an 86-year-old record.
“We knew it’s possible, it was realistic, so I told the boys, ‘go and create your own legacy and your names will be etched in history’,” Harendra said after the win.
Harendra said irrespective of the weak opposition a record will always be a ‘record’. “I believe in a thought process that if you have to kill, you have to kill mercilessly,” Harendra asserted.
“For me it (record) does not matter, but for the players it is a proud moment. Team are bigger than the coach. When history will be discussed, the names of these 18 players will be there. The record is always for the players,” added the head coach.
We cannot continue to dwell on this record for long. Now our aim is to win the tougher group games against Japan and Korea
Harendra Singh – coach
The coach also felt that there was nothing wrong in having weaker sides in the competition. “I look it from different angle. For the first time we have 12 teams competing in the Asian Games. You can’t have quality all the time. Sometimes you need to have quantity to produce quality,” Harendra pointed out.
Midfielder Manpreet Singh also felt that there is nothing wrong in letting weaker teams compete at such big events. “Japan at one time were a very low-ranked team and see where they are now. So these teams will also improve. They will also grow in stature,” Manpreet pointed out.
Manpreet said the team are happy to be a part of history but their focus remains on the future course of the tournament.
“It’s good to create history by scoring that many goals but our focus is to be ready for the next matches. We wanted to improve on variation, rhythm and ball speed control ahead of tough games against Japan and Korea,” Manpreet pointed out.