New Delhi: With a relatively young and inexperienced side at his disposal, High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans is doing his bid to take the pressure off his wards and said being the interim coach he would be solely responsible for India's performance in the Asia Cup hockey tournament to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia.
India face a must-win situation in the Asia Cup, to be held from August 24 to September 1, as they need to win the tournament to qualify for next year's World Cup in Hague, The Netherlands.
"I'll be responsible for the team's performance but at the same time I'm confident also," Oltmans told the media persons on the sidelines of the national camp at the National Stadium here today.
"We have prepared ourselves in the best possible manner in the short period of time we had. We can assure all that we will give our 100 per cent every single minute and in every single game we play," the Dutchman added. (Sardar Singh to lead young Indian squad)
Injuries to four key players -- Askashdeep Singh, S V Sunil, Gurwinder Singh Chandi and Danish Mujatab -- had forced India to field a young and inexperienced forwardline, but Oltmans reposed faith in his young crop of strikers to deliver in the Asia Cup.
"Of course we will deliver, there is no doubt about it. The boys are working very hard and I am confident that it is the right team to be there," he said.
"We can only pick players who are available. But what we can do is prepare them in the best possible way that they are able to perform.
"If we are able to produce good performances on a consistent basis there (in Ipoh), we can win the tournament," Oltmans insisted.
Asked about the impact of the new goalkeeping coach, Dave Staniforth on the Indian custodians, Oltmans said: "He is trying to prepare the goalkeepers in whatever short period of time he has.
"Our special emphasis now is on penalty corner defence and shoot-outs."
Oltmans also reasoned the induction of young Amit Rohidas in the defensive line in place of Harbir Singh.
"I feel for Harbir, it was little tough on him but he realises the goal and planning of the team. Amit is a drag-flicker and I always prefer three drag-flickers in the team so that two of them can be on the turf at the same time," he said.