'Real test from Tuesday'

After having played a pivotal role in India’s splendid win over Italy that helped them retain pole position in the FIH Olympic Qualifiers, star drag-flicker Sandeep Singh said he is happy with his own performance and the team’s.

“I am really happy to have converted three goals from four attempts,” the defender told media after another high-octane victory. “The team has also played really well in the two matches so far.

“However, our real test will start from Tuesday when we play teams like France, Poland and Canada. The defence hardly had anything to do in the two matches. We will have more work to do in against Canada and Poland. We are ready for the challenge though.

“We have devised a lot of plans and are unloading it one by one. We don’t want to try everything now and as coach Michael Nobbs had said on Friday, we want peak slowly and go full blast on the final day.”

Sandeep also praised the fitness level of the team. “The team is playing as a unit. It is bonding really well. If we play with the same intensity, I am sure we’ll get into the final. Of course, winning this tournament is our target and we won’t be happy with anything less.

Meanwhile, coach Michael Nobbs stressed that the rotation policy amongst ’keepers will continue despite Bharat Chetri being the captain. “It’s something that I’ve been doing from the very beginning and will continue to do so.”

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