New Delhi: Germany is viewing the Hockey World League Final, to be held at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi from January 10-18, as a stepping stone for the World Cup which will be held in The Hague, Netherlands, from May 31 to June 15.
"This tournament is the stepping stone to the World Cup. It will be tough for us as we are coming from a situation where the team trained indoor. Now, playing outdoor will be tough," said Germany coach Markus Weise Tuesday.
Weise said that they held the Indian team in high regards and also praised skipper Sardar Singh.
"The Indian team is very strong and we hold high regards for them and especially for Sardar Singh. We are concentrating on basics rather than strategy. The team will give their best shot in the tournament."
Germany will play New Zealand on January 10.
Speaking post a practice session, German skipper Oliver Korn said: "We are here to improve our game and this is like a run up to the World Cup. Teams competing here are the best teams of the world and hence pinpointing on one as the strongest contender is difficult.
"We see Australia, Netherlands and India as strong rivals and one to look out for. India will be playing in front of their home crowd hence they have to live up to the expectations. Sardar and Manpreet Singh are the good players in the Indian team."