Walsh plays down injury worries

Walsh plays down injury worries

Despite injuries to some of his key players ahead of the World Cup, India coach Terry Walsh is not pressing the panic button.

The Australian, instead, relishes speaking about his boys' willingness to give their best in the training sessions and their rapid progress.  

The Indian squad went through the paces here on Thursday at the camp which is expected to last a month. Walsh, though, would like to see them exuding more self-belief. The coach said those injured were steadily improving, too.

“Mandeep Singh had an MRI on March 5. He will take another four weeks. (Gurwinder Singh) Chandi is significantly better but it will take another week for him to start running.

Danish (Mujtaba) is fit, though he is not anywhere near his best. Harbir (Singh) had a groin injury but he is pain free. In two-four weeks, he can legitimately start training. He is dying to train,” Walsh told reporters.

“(SV) Sunil fell on his shoulder and we don't think it is serious. There is some spasm.

“There are always injuries in a team. It always affects the training but you know this will happen. It should not be significant though. While Harbir’s is potentially different, everyone else’s (injury) is solvable.”

Walsh said the team was aiming to finish in the top eight in World Cup which begins in Hague, The Netherlands from May 31 to June 15.

“We are still 11 weeks away. It is a considerable amount of time and they have made good progress in the first few days. If it goes as well as it has gone in last few days, I will be really pleased.

“The boys have a sparkle in their eyes. They are enjoying themselves during the training. They are fantastic.

“Our first target is to set realistic goals for the World Cup and it is to be in the top eight. Going further from there will definitely be a bonus. The team is looking forward to convert the chances and score. The practice sessions are focusing on each area which will help in smashing the ball hard during the World Cup,” he said.

“The second target is to believe in one’s self which is an important element to perform and the team is gradually building in this area. We are also giving great emphasis on our defense as that will be the core to win the matches.”

 In the packed calendar this season, the Indian team would be focussing on Asian Games and World Cup.

"World cup is the most important event in the world stage apart from Olympic Games. Commonwealth Games is nowhere near, partly because it doesn't give you an automatic ticket to Olympics. India wants to qualify through the front door,” Walsh said.

"We should be better prepared when we hit the Asian Games. We should have better understanding and flow in our game then. I am looking at improvement across the board.”

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