HWL Semis: Coach Oltmans asks India to stay upbeat against Netherlands

Roelant Oltmans, India vs Netherlands, Hockey World League Semi-final, HWL, hockey, India

Indian hockey team (Photo: Twitter)

Roelant Oltmans asked India to stay upbeat ahead of their clash with Netherlands on Tuesday.

After thrashing Pakistan 7-1 on Sunday, Indian men's hockey team coach Roelant Oltmans asked them to stay upbeat ahead of their clash with Netherlands on Tuesday to book a quarterfinal spot at the Hockey World League Semi-final in London.

“I am quite pleased with the team’s performance so far but our job is not finished yet. We have to stay upbeat, continue to be aggressive and execute our plans to 100 per cent in all the areas to excel against the Dutch who also have had a good start to the tournament,” Oltmans said in a statement.

Just like India, who are riding the victory juggernaut, Netherland too enjoyed a fair outing so far in the tournament. The Dutch defeated Pakistan (4-0), Scotland (3-0) and Canada (3-1) in their previous matches of the HWL Semis.

Netherlands are ranked fourth in the world and seeded No. 2 in the tournament, behind Olympic champions Argentina. The recent rise of Dutch saw them outshining India 1-0 at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

However, the Men in Blue had defeated the Dutch by 3-2 in the shootout to win the bronze medal at 2015 Hockey World League Final at Raipur. In 2014 also, India edged Netherlands 3-2 in a Champions Trophy match.

India's 63-year-old coach from Netherlands firmly believes that both the teams are new and therefore past records will hardly put any pressure on the current squads.

"We don’t want to think about past records. Both the teams are new compared to 2015 and 2016 with some new additions in the squad. So, we cannot compare the results from the past. For now, we only want to focus on our match tomorrow, continue with the good momentum and stick to our plans. We have to start well and finish well. That will be our focus,” Oltmans added.