Azlan Shah team missed experienced players: Skipper Halappa

Azlan Shah team missed experienced players: Skipper Halappa

On the team's return from Ipoh, Malaysia, Halappa told IANS that the youngsters in the team benefited a lot from the exposure and they will be better off for the experience.
India were the co-defending champions with South Korea in the tournament.

"It is a disappointing result. We would have liked a podium finish," said Halappa.
"Experience counts in pressure situations and we missed out on it. We could not hold onto the lead or consolidate the position after forging ahead in some of the matches. Simply put, we could not finish matches after being on top."

"All the same, the youngsters were able to test themselves against top teams and they must have learnt a lot from the tournament. It was important to give the youngsters an opportunity, if you are looking to have a bunch of 35-40 players good enough to play at the top level," said Halappa, who was leading the team for the first time.

Hallappa said drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh, who scored seven goals, and forward Gurwinder Singh Chandi had a good tournament.

"S.V. Sunil, who was back after an injury kept him off for over year, is back in the groove."
Halappa said it is a learning curve for most of the players and they should make use of the experience profitably.

"We have ben able to learn a lot and we all have to individually asses our performance. It is about 11 players gelling on the field.

"We have got potential. There are lot of things to work on. We have to work hard and need more match practice. It is a process and it will take time," said the veteran midfielder.

Asked whether he missed players like Sandeep Singh and Sardara Singh, Halappa said: "The team will definitely benefit with the experienced players."