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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Hockey players' lack of commitment shocks coach Nobbs

Agencies  London, August 05, 2012
First Published: 10:34 IST(5/8/2012) | Last Updated: 10:37 IST(5/8/2012)

India's hockey coach Michael Nobbs is furious at the lack of commitment shown by his players in the first three matches at the London Games and said there were some players in the team who are just happy to be Olympians.

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India has suffered defeats in all three matches they have played in Group B so far and are already out of the reckoning for a place in the semi-finals of the men's hockey competition.

"We've got some players out there just wanting to be Olympians, but international hockey demands the heart for a fight," Nobbs said, as India brace for their next game against Asian opponents South Korea on Sunday.

"The national team needs players who show the character to take up a challenge and are willing to commit their heart and body for the country's prestige," said the Australian, who was seen singing India's national anthem before the match against Germany.

Nobbs has strictly asked the players to make a decision whether they were willing to make that commitment to the nation and the team.

"The players need to make a decision whether they are satisfied just to be Olympians and return home, or are they willing to be tough and make that commitment for the team's cause," he said.

"If you are happy to go home having just turned up at the Olympic Games, the team cannot expect much from you," said Nobbs, who was a teammate of present Australia coach Ric Charlesworth in the 1980s. "I come from a sporting culture where players are willing to line up their coffins on the side of the pitch. That's their pride in representing the country."

The coach said until and unless the players take up challenges, Indian hockey will continue to suffer. "Only the good players take up challenges. If these Indian players take up the challenge, they can improve," he said. "But that needs absolute commitment forgetting about injuries and the stuff."

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