India ready to deliver, says confident Sardar

 Minnows Singapore may provide the ideal launchpad for the top-seeded Indians but vice-captain Sardar Singh on Friday said the team is not complacent and is ready to deliver the first punch.

“We are not taking any opponent easily,” the 25-year-old central midfielder told reporters after a floodlit practice session at the Major Dhyan Chand National stadium. “For the last seven months, we’ve been waiting for this opportunity.

“We’re happy that the moment has finally arrived. It’s a six-step climb towards restoring our pride. All of us are very determined. If we play to our potential, I am sure we’ll emerge triumphant. We need to make sure we give our fans what they deserve.”

In the current squad, Sardar is one the six players from the Chile disaster when India failed to qualify for the Olympics for the first time in its history. The medio, however, stressed that the team has overcome the bitter past and is looking forward for the future.

“The six of us met in the morning, and we know how embarrassing it was. It shocked the nation. We are more determined than ever to cross the hurdle. We’ve got a very balanced squad that is fit and raring to go. As seniors, we tried to guide them and downplay the pressure of playing at home. We’ve trained extremely hard  and its just a matter of gelling together. The first couple of matches will help us in that aspect after which we can hit top gear.”

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