Indian hockey captain Manpreet Singh and star custodian PR Sreejesh are eager to put the heartbreak of the Olympics semi-final loss behind them and refocus on the bronze medal play-off match scheduled for Thursday.
India lost 2-5 to Belgium in the semi-final on Tuesday. They will play Germany for the bronze.
“It is really hard for me right now because we came with a winning mindset, but unfortunately we didn’t win. Now we need to focus on our bronze-medal... We need to get that medal,” Manpreet said after the loss.
“It was a great honour for us reaching the semi-final after a long time... but at least we should win a bronze medal for the nation,” he said.
He added that India deserved a better result on Tuesday. “This team has been together for the last four or five years. We have worked really hard to reach this level. We deserved better. But unfortunately we couldn’t get it today,” he said.
Sreejesh agreed with his skipper. “Disappointed, but we don’t have time to worry about that. We need to forget about the loss and think about the future. We still have a chance to win a medal and that’s more important for us than crying at this time,” he said.
Defender Rupinder Pal Singh said: “Our aim was to win the gold, but we lost today. The great thing is we have a chance to finish third in the next game so we will focus on that. If we win that, it’s going to be for us only… That’s great motivation, too. There is a lot of self-belief in the team now, specially the youngsters.”