Ace drag-flicker Sandeep Singh on Tuesday said that the Indian hockey team should play against top teams in the world regularly and prepare longer with the same set of players to avoid a London Olympics-like debacle in future.
Indian hockey touched a new low in the just-concluded London Olympics as the eight-time champions finished last in the 12-team men's competition. Star of the qualifying tournament, Sandeep too failed to live upto the expectations.
"I feel very sorry for the Indian Hockey fans. They were expecting good show from us but we could not live upto the expectations. " Sandeep said.
"We must play against top teams like Australia, Germany and Holland on the regular basis which is lacking so far. It will boost our confidence and we will be able to overcome our weaknesses," said the full back.
Sandeep said that it's important to play more and more matches together as a unit.
"We have immensely talented players in current team. We just don't know what went wrong but we have no dearth of talent. If this team with 10-15 youngsters is given four years, we can do better in Rio Olympics (in 2014)," he said.
"This is a young team and players are playing together for last one year. You cannot be in top five in Olympics after just one year's preparation. That is why I am focussing on beginning the preparation for next Olympic," he said.