LAHORE - Pakistan hockey team manager Khawaja Junaid termed the European tour as 'training tour for preparations for London Games saying that it would surely help the team to cope with the problems they are facing during playing matches in foreign venues and making them able to familiar with the European conditions.
Kh Junaid while talking to the TheNation exclusively on telephone said: I am satisfied with teams performance in the opener of the Four-Nation Hockey Event at Dublin (Ireland). Though the team had a bad start yet we are hopeful and expecting great performances from the team in the upcoming fixtures.
He further said that the players performance during the tour would be monitored and then their weaknesses will be removed. The European weather and atmosphere was quiet similar to the weather of London where 2012 London Olympics would be held, so playing and practicing here would prove fruitful for the team in boosting their morale and preparing them mentally and physically strong for the Games, he added.
We are working hard on team and trying our best to prepare them for handling pressure to enable Pakistan to score victories against world strong teams, he added.
Meanwhile, the two Asian teams Pakistan and China had disappointing opening day in the Four-Nation Hockey at Dublin (Ireland) as Ireland defeated China 4-2 and minnow France scored identical margin win over Pakistan in another match of the event.
Ireland got off to a great start despite the rain at the UCD Four-Nations Cup when they secured a 4-2 victory over China.
On the other hand, France also got off to a flying start and exhibited impressive game and skills and succeeded in netting two goals in the first half of the game which put a lot of pressure on Pakistani team and did not allow them to fight back in the first half.
Soon after the second half whistle, France kept on attacking and successfully hit their third goal making the score 3-0. Pakistan team came back and scored their first goal. Later, France made it 4-1 adding another impressive goal. Pakistan tried hard to come back but all in vain but the ending moments of the game allowed Pakistani players to make the score line 4-2.
The second match will be played on Wednesday (today) between Pakistan and China at 1800 hours (2200 hours PST).