Karachi: The greenshirts head coach Akhtar Rasool said that his charges would go in next month’s Asia Cup with a ‘do or die’ strategy and he hopes the team would excel in the event.
“I agree the team failed to perform in the Hockey World League but it is not all over yet and we would put our best in Asia Cup next month. We will go with a do or die policy and I hope the team would rise from ashes in the event,” Akhtar said.
Akhtar said that Rashid and Mohammad Waseem, who missed the Hockey World League due to injuries, were now fit and he expects the duo to help the team lift its performance.
“Rashid and Waseem are fit now and with the duo back in the line for selection, we hope we would have a better combination. We would select a balance side for event,” he added.
To find a direct berth in the next year’s World Cup, Pakistan must win next month’s Asia Cup in order to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
The greenshirts missed an easier chance of qualification in Hockey World League after finishing a humiliating seventh in the eight nation event in Malaysia. The event offered three World Cup spots for top three performers.
However, Asia Cup offers only a single spot for the World Cup – and that is for the winners. Apart from Pakistan, Asian hockey power houses India, Korea and Malaysia would also be eying the title to qualify for the prestigious event of World Cup.
“The tournament is tough but winning in the event is not impossible. And we would be going to do just that,” Akhtar said.
“During the build-up camp for the Asia Cup, which has already started in Lahore, we are trying to work on our mistakes, which the team committed in Hockey World League. So we would be a different side in the Asia Cup,” he added.
The greenshirts have started their preparation for next month’s Asia Cup from Monday at National Hockey Stadium in Lahore.