‘We have become mentally weak... this India team needs a psychologist’

Sardar Singh

In this Walk the Talk on NDTV 24x7 with The Indian Express Editor-in-Chief Shekhar Gupta, national hockey player Sardar Singh, talks about the team's failure at the London Games and the way forward.

Welcome to Walk the Talk. I am Shekhar Gupta at New Delhi's National Stadium — the home of Indian hockey and my guest this week is somebody who represents an Indian team that unfortunately finished at the bottom at the Olympics. But Sardar Singh is a star, a hero, and if Indian hockey has to get anywhere from where it has reached now, it will need Sardar.

I would first like to thank my teammates and the coaching staff. Because we trained very hard compared to the last time. Unfortunately we were not able to do our best in the tournament. So it hurts a lot because we did train very hard.

I was here when you beat France in the qualifiers. It was a big thing that we had even qualified because we hadn't qualified last time. But what happened in London?

Ever since Michael Nobbs came as coach we performed well in whatever tournaments we played. Just before the Olympics we had played well against some very good teams like England, Spain, France and South Africa. But my understanding is that from the first match at the Olympics against Holland and until the last match against South Africa, we kept making the same mistakes — our finishing in the D. We were not aggressive at all. So these normal chances that we got — when the ball would come in from the right, there would be no one to deflect it. If we could have converted those chances...

So you are saying when your forwards would bring in the ball from the right, there would be no one to receive it from the left.

... contd.

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