India were found wanting in penalty corner conversions in their first two matches in the FIH Men’s World Cup, but midfielder Manpreet Singh is hoping that the home side will hit the target against Wales here on Thursday.
India have got nine penalty corners so far but have not scored once from them directly though Amit Rohidas found the target against Spain in the opening match in Rourkela after captain Harmanpreet Singh’s drag-flick was rebounded from an opponent’s stick.
Against England, with whom they played out a goal-less draw, India got four penalty corners.
“There were few misses but if you see, England also defended well and their goalkeeper did well. We cannot say that it was not our mistake, but somewhere, England also defended well. We will analyse where we went wrong,” Manpreet told PTI after team training on Tuesday.
“The playing structure of England and Wales are almost the same and we will try to execute the penalty corners we get against Wales,” said the 30-year-old Punjab player.
He said the match against Wales will be important as a big win will put India on top of Pool D.
“We will try to play our best and play our normal game and execute our plans,” said Manpret who had led India to a historic bronze at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.
The toppers in each of the four pools directly qualify for the quarterfinals. The second and third place finishers of each pool will feature in cross over matches.
Asked about his role in the team as he is no longer the captain, he said, “To be honest, earlier also (when I was captain) when I set foot on the ground, I gave my 100 per cent, and it is the same now also.
“In our team, it is not like that Harmanpreet is the captain (and he does everything) because hockey is a team game and what is more important is to have the contribution of all the team members.
“So, the mindset is the same that I would give 100 per cent whenever I play and take the youngsters along.” Manpreet has not been that great in India’s two matches considering the high standards he brings on the field each time he plays, but he is not too concerned.
“It’s all right. Every time I play, I try to do my best. No player is satisfied with his performance, always thinking that he could have done better in every match. The more I contribute the better will be for the team,” he said