Free Press Journal

Sardar’s presence will motivate other players, says Manpreet


Bengaluru : A team man to the core, Manpreet Singh has no qualms about losing captaincy and feels returning veteran Sardar Singh’s presence in the middle will act as motivation for other players in the upcoming FIH Champions Trophy in Breda, Netherlands.

Sardar, considered one of the world’s best midfielders at one point of time, was dropped for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, where India finished a disappointing fourth under Manpreet’s captaincy.

But the seasoned Sardar did not give up hope and fought his way back into the team for the Champions Trophy after impressing new chief coach Harendra Singh in the national camp.

“Sardar is an immensely experienced midfielder. His presence in the midfield will give a lot of motivation to others. He has the ability to give long, skilful passes,” Manpreet said before leaving for the Champions Trophy.

Sardar has been brought back to bolster the team’s midfield for the  tournament, beginning June 23. Asked about India’s chances in the prestigious event, where they stood second best in the last edition, Manpreet said the team is aiming for a podium finish. “Commonwealth Games was not good for us. We missed far too many goals. Also, we converted far too less penalty corners. We have worked very hard on scoring goals and converting penalty corners during the training sessions here at Sports Authority of India,” he said.

After the CWG failure, Manpreet was replaced by PR Sreejesh as the skipper for the Champions Trophy.