Indian men's hockey team's high performance director Roelant Oltmans has stated that the players are are determined to put up a good show in their opening match against Germany in the 2014 Champions Trophy.
India have been touted as one of the favourites to win the eight-team tournament this time, after they clinched gold in the Asian Games in Incheon - beating Pakistan on penalties in the final - back in October, and followed it up with a historic 3-1 Test series win in Australia.
The Champions Trophy, set in Bhubaneswar, will kick off on 6 December, with India facing Germany in their opening match in Pool B. Netherlands and Argentina are the other two teams in the group.
Oltmans, who has been in charge of the team after chief coach Terry Walsh's departure last month, feels the players are confident going into the opener and are prepared to give world no.3 Germany a tough time.
"The team is very excited for the upcoming tournament and has been practicing consistently in all the training sessions, determined to give a tough fight to the opponents. The team is looking confident and geared up to play its first match against Germany," Hockey India website quoted the Dutchman as saying.
"I hope the team performs with the same enthusiasm which facilitates them every time to pull off a win against the competitors."
Defender Rupinder Pal Singh also expressed his confidence heading into the tournament and stressed that the form and momentum would help India perform well against the big boys.
"We are packed with confidence this time and aiming to continue the winning spree which is surely not an easy task but I am sure our team is in the full form to take the challenges. We are continuously practicing hard to improve our skills each day on the field and off the field," the dragflicker pointed out.
"Having played against Germany earlier in International tournaments I am definite our first match will be an interesting show."