Focus on eliminating mistakes, says Khandkar

The Delhi-phase of India hockey men's camp is in full swing and experienced forward Tushar Khandkar said the team was working on the mistakes which slipped into their game during the Champions Challenge in Johannesburg last month.

India lost to Belgium in final after conceding goals in the dying minutes despite having a 3-1 lead in the second half.

Khandkar said they have learned their lessons and are confident of qualifying for the Olympics from the first qualifiers from February 18-26 here.

“The mistakes we did during the final in Johannesburg, we are working on them. We had a meeting after the final where we discussed what all we could have done to avoid them. Hopefully they will not be repeated and the results will be in our favour in the future matches,” Khandkar said after the team's training session at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Thursday.

“We are working on how we should not be conceding a short corner and if we did, how we can ensure it does not convert into a goal. We are also working on scoring. We are enjoying ourselves practicing in the Delhi weather.”

India will be the highest ranked team (10) in the qualifiers, which will also see the participation of Canada, France, Poland, Italy and the United States. Khandkar, however, said no team can be considered weak and they will be looking forward to giving their best in every single match.

“The way we performed in China (Asian Champions Trophy) and Johannesburg, it has given the team the confidence that we can qualify for the Olympics. However, no team can be considered weak. In international hockey, all teams are at the same level and we will have to take it match by match, giving our 100 percent,” he said.

The women's team went through the paces at the main turf of the stadium where they played Azerbaijan in a warm-up match and drew 3-3.

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