Birmingham: Indian men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh and chief coach Graham Reid on Wednesday said that they are not burdened by the expectations of the fans as they prepare for their tournament opener against Ghana on Sunday.
The national side reached here on Saturday for the 12th edition of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) and ever since their arrival they have been training vigorously as they aim for a podium finish in the colossal event.
Asked about the expectations of the Indian hockey fans during a virtual press conference, Reid said, “I must say, I don’t think that anyone’s expectations of us are more than that of our own expectations. We really have high expectations of what we expect from ourselves and also from each other. So, yes, we are not weighed down by these expectations.”
The chief coach added, “Of course, we cannot do much about the external expectation, but we can do something about our own expectations and that’s what we do as it keeps the pressure on us but it’s in a good way because we are the ones that can control that.”
Meanwhile, Manpreet Singh, who is set to make his 300th appearance for India in the CWG tournament opener against Ghana said, “I am really glad to have played 299 games for India. I am excited about it but my focus at the moment is on the game against Ghana and the team and I am not that concerned about the personal milestone.”
Speaking about the fans’ expectations, Manpreet said, “Yes, we know that fans have expectations from us that we will win a medal here. We discussed the same before arriving here that if our focus is on winning a medal, we will eventually be victorious in our efforts but we need to work on it first. We want to do our best in every single game, we are not going to take any team lightly and yes our final goal is to win a medal here.”