New Delhi: Indian men’s hockey team coach Harendra Singh is chasing a second successive Asian Games gold not just to secure qualification to the 2020 Olympics, but also kick-start preparations for the year-end World Cup, where he is eyeing a podium finish.
“In the last couple of years we have proved to the world that we are back on the hockey map. We are No.5 in the world but by the end of the year we want to be in the top three,” Harendra told this agency before leaving for Jakarta.
I want this team to create a legacy by the end of the year. I want this team to be remembered for what they achieved on the pitch
“The Asian Games is the first step towards achieving that goal. We want to have a shot at the podium in 2020 Tokyo and the Asian Games will set the tone for our preparation towards that,” added the former Indian player.
Harendra, who took over the reins of the senior men’s national team for a fourth time in May this year, wants his wards to create a legacy by the end of 2018.
“2018 is very important for us and I want this team to create a legacy by the end of the year. I want this team to be remembered for what they achieved on the pitch,” pointed out the master tactician.
The coach said India will settle for nothing less than defending their title in the Games, but admitted it is easier said than done.
“We can’t think of anything less than a gold medal. It is not acceptable. But we have to prove ourselves on the pitch in each and every match,” Harendra asserted. “A gold here will make us the first team to qualify for the 2020 Olympics and we will get one year and 11 months to prepare ourselves,” he added.