The Indian hockey team "is in good shape" and is looking forward to "making it" to Beijing Olympics in the qualifying tournament in Santiago, Chile, starting March 1, according to chief coach Joaquim Carvalho.
"The team is in good shape. We have no injuries. All the training that they
have had is going to hold them in good stead," said Carvalho.
"We have good mix of seniors and youngsters. All are sharing the load. They jell well and are ready to play as a team," he added.
Talking about the pressure of facing one of the toughest tests in faraway Santiago, he said, "The pressure is always there. A coach is always under pressure. One has to be a coach to understand it."
Carvalho, who took over from Vasudevan Baskaran in April last year, said that he had made it clear that the boys had to play as a team.
"The team comes first. We can't have any black sheep in the team. It is a team game. You have to work hard" is the refrain that Carvalho said he had been driving at while talking about discipline.
"Performance is the key to success and to remaining in the team," a fact that Carvalho said he had made it clear to the team which has several promising youngsters.
He denied that fatigue was one of the main concerns facing the team, and said, "I do not agree with it. The fatigue factor has been eliminated. After the team came from Australia, they have had a four to five day break."
On India's future if it fails to make it to Beijing, he said, "I am looking forward to making it (to Beijing). Nothing else."