No need to push panic button yet: Hanif Khan

Karachi: Pakistan hockey team coach Hanif Khan said that although the greenshirts failed to perform well in Hockey World League in Malaysia but there was no need to push the panic button yet as there is still chance to qualify for the World Cup when the team features next month in Asia Cup.

“Yes the team didn’t performed well but I don’t think there is a need to push panic button yet as we still have a chance to qualify for the World Cup by winning in Asia Cup,” former Olympian Hanif Khan said on his return from Malaysia on Tuesday.

Hanif Khan and hockey team player Haseem Khan returned on Tuesday here in Karachi while the rest of the team was expected on Tuesday night in Lahore.

Pakistan put a dismal show in Hockey World League in spite of the fact that it was third best ranked team in the event behind top ranked Germany and fourth ranked England, at fifth spot.

However, the team failed to justify its ranking after finishing at seventh place in the eight-nation tournament, even behind 16th placed Japan, who secured 6th position. Tournament’s top three teams – Germany, Argentina and England, have qualified for the World Cup.

“The team selection couldn’t be criticized because it was the best possible team,” Hanif said.

Hanif optimistically said that the team could do better in Asia Cup to be held next month in Malaysia. Apart from Hanif’s optimism, Asia Cup offers only one berth for World Cup 2014 to be held in Holland for the tournament’s winner and teams like Korea, host Malaysia and India would also be vying for that spot.

Hanif said that although the team managed to create chances in the tournament but our players missed several opportunities inside the circle.

“We can work on that before Asia Cup and hopefully we could put better show in Asia Cup and could also secure berth in World Cup through Asia Cup,” he added.

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