Indian men's hockey team defender Harmanpreet Singh has asserted the side's focus ahead of the upcoming international assignments would be on improving the finishing and coordination, even as they recover from the 0-7 thrashing inflicted by Australia in the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games final.
The squad returned to training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre in Bengaluru ahead of the Pro League 2022/23 season, which is set to begin on October 28. The team will use the Pro League games to prepare for the FIH Men's Hockey World Cup 2023, and Harmanpreet stressed the importance of the games in preparation for the mega event being hosted by Odisha.
"We will have our practice sessions, and our primary focus will always be on improving our finishing and improving the coordination and combination between players. We will be focusing on how we can improve our timing while crossing the ball among players, and improving our timing while moving the ball from defence to attack," said Harmanpreet on Wednesday.
Speaking on the team's focus at the camp, Harmanpreet added, "We had our first day of training. When we have our meetings, we will discuss the aspects of our game we want to focus upon. We will watch the videos from the tournaments we have played recently. We will look back at what we did well and what areas we can improve upon. It will help us in devising the strategy of how we can prepare for our upcoming competitions.
"Every match is important for us. Our target has always been to win every match. We have not much time left before the World Cup. So, the more the number of matches we get to play before the tournament, the more it will be beneficial for us," he said.
The pool draw for the FIH Men's Hockey World Cup 2023 is set to take place on September 8. But Harmanpreet stressed that the team is not focused too much on the same and will prepare themselves to face any challenges that come their way.
"We are not focusing on World Cup draws. We have to play the matches and perform our best, irrespective of whoever we face. We have to show our game and our strengths and get positive results. We have to keep our focus on doing the same and not on things which are not in our control," Harmanpreet added.