Newly appointed Pakistan hockey coach Khwaja Junaid is eagerly waiting for the encounter against India in the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament in Ipoh, Malaysia.
Pakistan would be going to the match, to be played on May 7, to seek revenge for the humiliating 1-4 loss against the arch rivals during the World Cup in New Delhi, Junaid said.
He said the match is of utmost importance for the team, as both would want to register a win to gain momentum in the May 6 to16 tournament.
“Some people might say that it will be just one of the tournament games but the thing is that against India there are no ordinary games. It is one match that you have to win and it’s the same for both the sides,” The News quoted Junaid, as saying.
“The most important outcome of a win against India is that it gives your players’ confidence a huge boost. It will be a perfect start to our Asian Games preparations, which would be held in China in November,” he added.
Junaid, however, admitted that defeating India would be tough task, but the new look Pakistani team is determined enough.
“It’s a challenging task but I’m optimistic because the boys are highly motivated and are itching to take the field against India,” he said.
Pakistan has rested most of the senior players for the tournament, but Junaid believes despite the lack of experience, his team would do well.
“More than half of our players are pretty new, but I’m hopeful that they will do well in Ipoh,” he said.
“Azlan Shah Cup will serve as a platform for the Asian Games. We have begun a rebuilding process that will help us raise a strong team that will give us hope of an Olympic medal,” Junaid added.