India hockey captain Manpreet Singh Thursday said new chief coach Graham Reid’s “simple and friendly approach” has brought a calming influence on the team and it is reflecting on the turf. “The coach has created a friendly environment in the team and he has kept a very simple approach. He is very open about his thought process and is approachable to each and every team member. If any player has any concerns, he is always welcoming,” Manpreet told PTI in an email interaction. “This has also improved the performance of the team on the pitch,” added the 26-year-old midfielder from Jalandhar, who had an impressive FIH Series Finals in Bhubneshwar.
Manpreet said 56-year-old Reid, who replaced Harendra Singh as Indian men’s hockey team chief coach in April this year, didn’t tinker too much with their attacking style of play. “The coach (Reid) has not made any significant changes as of now as he is currently new to the set up. He will be looking to make a few changes during our camp which is scheduled in July,” he said. “Right now, he wants us to continue the good work we did in this tournament (FIH Series Finals). He also wants us to improve in our attacking game and work more on creating goal scoring opportunities and penalty corners,” added Manpreet, a Red Bull athlete.
India, led by Manpreet, lived up to their billing and thrashed South Africa 5-1 in the summit clash to win the FIH Series Finals in Bhubaneswar recently. And the skipper said the team would like to carry forward the momentum ahead of the final qualifying round of the 2020 Olympics to be held in November. “We will continue to carry forward the momentum into the next tournament. We will continue to rectify the mistakes we made in this tournament. We are currently preparing for the final qualifying round which is in November,” said Manpreet.
India put up a stupendous show during the FIH Series Finals and Manpreet said there were plenty of positives to take home from the just-conluded tournament. “There were many positives from the tournament as the team performed collectively as a group and we focused on both aspects of our game. “We showed what we are capable of both attacking and defensive play. We were very sound as we did not give many scoring chances to our opponents,” he signed off.