New Delhi:Former India hockey captain Dilip Tirkey on Wednesday said he was upset with ad-hoc selection committee member Aslam Sher Khan's comments on senior players during the Punjab Gold Cup in Chandigarh.
"I really felt very bad when I heard about the comments, especially at a time when all the players were focussing on the tournament. It was not wise on a selector's part to give such statement in the middle of a tournament," Tirkey told reporters on the sidelines of the national team's felicitation here on Wednesday.
Tirkey said the senior players let their performance speak for them in the tournament.
"As far as I think, all the senior players -- Deepak Thakur, Ignace Tirkey, myself and Prabhjot Singh -- all played satisfactorily in the tournament," he said..
Aslam Sher Khan had created a stir in the middle of the Punjab Gold Cup, saying the selectors would take a call on the future of the senior players depending on their performance in the four-nation tournament.
Aslam's comments did not go down well with coach-in-charge Harendra Singh either, who questioned the timing of the comment which, he alleged, affected the morale of the team.
Sports Minister MS Gill also chided Khan for his "unnecessary comments" and advised the selectors to concentrate on their job.
On a different note, Tirkey, the most experienced player in the side, lauded his teammates for their impressive showing in the Punjab Gold Cup but felt defensive lapses and conceding soft short corners remained major concerns for the side.
"We played attacking hockey in the Punjab Gold Cup which resulted in plenty of field goals and we would like to continue that. But we have to work on our defence. We have unnecessarily conceded many short corners and we have to work on that area," the veteran defender said.
Asked about retirement plans, Tirkey said he would continued playing as long as his body allowed.
"I guess I will play one year more but everything depends on fitness. If I remain fit without any injuries then I hope to play in 2010 World Cup," Tirkey said.