The Indian men's hockey team on has started preparations for the coming Test series against Japan, but coach Paul van Ass also has the FIH Hockey World League semi-final round on mind.
The India-Japan Test series is scheduled from May 3 to 9 in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Van Ass worked with the team, overlooking the sessionm as the players fine-tuned their skills in a practice session here on Friday.
"For the last few days, we have been working hard keeping in mind the FIH Hockey World League semi-final. We know there will tough teams, but nothing is impossible for our team. This preparation camp and the upcoming Japan series will be very important for us. We will play at the highest level against Japan," the coach said.
"I believe that best performance comes out of high pressure. For me defence line-up is not with four-five people only. So, we are working to strengthen defence in the whole team."
Captain Sardar Singh said, "As of now, we are focusing on the preparatory camp and the Japan series. Our job is to implement strategies on the field and get the best results. These results and inputs will help us in the FIH Hockey World League semi-final round."
"After the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, the team is in better shape and very confident. We just need to strengthen our mental and physical stability. We are looking forward to the Japan Test series and expecting a good show."