Brasa said what he and his boys needed immediately was the turf of the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium to give his side enough time to get used to the ground conditions before the February 28-March 13 mega-event scheduled here.
“I have talked to Mr Suresh Kalmadi (Indian Olympic Association President) about this. He said the stadium will be completely ready by the end of this month but I need it as early as possible. We must start practising at the venue from now otherwise we will lose the advantage of playing on home turf,” the Spaniard told PTI from Pune. Brasa said he would be happy even if only the turf, along with the watering facility, was made available for the team.
“I need only the turf and the watering system. If floodlights are ready that will be fine. But I am not bothered about the dressing room or VIP rooms. Let that be ready in due course of time. We first need the ground for practice,” Brasa added.
He was also a relieved man after his wards resumed their World Cup preparations after a six-day strike in protest against the non-payment of their pending financial dues and incentives.
“I am the happiest person on the earth today. My players have resumed practice after five days and most important thing is that they are completely concentrating on the World Cup now.” Brasa said.
Brasa was of the view that the strike episode came as a blessing in disguise for the team ahead of the World Cup as the morale of the players was sky high. “This new-found unity will do wonders in the World Cup. The morale of players is very high which is very crucial for a big tournament like World Cup. My players are eager to prove themselves and they will fight like lions on the field. I have full confidence on them,” Brasa said.
Asked whether he plans to change the stategy of practice after the six-day break, Brasa said, “My players have worked very hard earlier with couple of rest days in between. I am going to stick with the same routine but there will be marginal adjustments.” He also expressed his dissatisfaction over the food provided in the Balewadi complex, but refused to make it an issue.
“Now all the problems have been solved. Players are targetting podium finish in World Cup. As far as their diet is concerned, I am not very happy but hope we will get better food in Delhi.” Brasa said.