Pakistan’s hockey coach aims to surprise India at the 2023 Asian Games.
The team is ready for the event in China.
Confidence in the team’s improvements and strategies.
Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh, head coach of the Pakistan hockey team, said that the Green Shirts would shock India at the Asian Games in 2023.
“We will give tough time to both Japan and India in this event to reach the victory stand,” he said while talking to local media on Thursday.
On Thursday night, the Pakistani squad, together with the taekwondo and squash teams, left for Hangzhou, China.
According to Shahnaz, all of the errors and flaws found in the last competition have been fixed. While he promised not to make any sweeping statements, he expressed confidence that the Pakistan hockey team would prove to be a capable and powerful hockey squad and advance to the winning stand.
Along with Bangladesh, Singapore, Japan, India, and Uzbekistan, Pakistan is in Group A. He claimed that India is well-regarded in the hockey world.
“But as a hockey coach, I know that in the Asian region, there is very little difference between the four or five top teams, and on the day of the match, if they control their nerves, play according to strategy, mark the weaknesses of the rival teams, avoid mistakes, and take advantage of the goal-scoring opportunities, that team will be the winner,” he said.
“I am the coach of the Pakistan team that defeated India in their home ground by 4-3 in the Champions Trophy 2014; at that time too, we were considered weak, and they were strong but we were successful in defeating them on their soil,” Shahnaz said.
“In our group, India and Japan are two strong teams, and we will have to defeat them to reach the next round. We have identified their weaknesses and will exploit them,” the coach said.
He claimed that the Pakistani hockey team is made up of youthful, motivated athletes.
“They are passing through a development period, and they are fast learners. During the training camp, they have been trained according to the requirements of advanced hockey,” he said.
Pakistan’s goal-scoring rate on penalty corners, according to Shahnaz, was below average.
“At crucial times, we often miss goal-scoring chances. This time, a visible change will be seen,” he added.
According to Shahnaz, the faults made during the Champions Trophy and other tournaments were rectified in the training camp. All three of the PC drills—injector, stopper, and dragger—have also received thorough instruction.
He stated that the drag flickers would be Sufiyan, Arbaz, and Rehman, all of whom were capable and had grown over the training program. He believed they would do well in China in the Asian Games. He declared that the attacking game plan would be played by the five forwards in order to put the other teams under strain.