India men's hockey coach Terry Walsh is confident of finishing on the podium in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games, starting 23 July Glasgow, Scotland.
The Indian team, led by midfielder Sardar Singh, is pooled alongside Wales, Australia, Scotland and South Africa, and will commence their campaign against Wales at the Glasgow National Hockey Center on July 25.
India won the silver medal in the last CWG in Delhi's Major Dhayan Chand National Stadium and head coach Walsh is expecting another decent finish from his side.
"The first objective is to accumulate sufficient points to go into the semifinal crossovers," Walsh said. "Where our rhythm and skill execution has been of very good quality, our penalty corner conversion will be a key component in the whole process.
"Rupinder Pal Singh is overcoming a minimal adductor tweak and VR Raghunath has been executing very efficiently. Of course the key is match situation conversions."
Walsh said the players are preparing quite well and have familiarised themselves with the venue conditions in the past one week. He added that, after finishing ninth in the World Cup at The Hague, the team is aiming to put in a better performance.
"The team has now familiarised with the Games Village and playing venue," Walsh added. "The training level in the past one week has been encouraging and the group is focussed on building towards the performance stage. We have a reshaped strike group and that continues to grow in understanding and quality."
Meanwhile, women's coach Neil Hawgood insisted that the team's spirits are high and players are working hard to ensure a better finish than their last appearance in the multisport event. The Indian eves finished fifth, beating Canada in a playoff, in Delhi in 2010.
"The team is feeling quite confident and are in good spirits at the moment, with training and village life going along quite smoothly," Hawgood said. "We are now narrowing our focus to the finer points that will prove to be crucial in our matches and making sure that we are all working together towards our goal."
The women's team will open their campaign against Canada on 24 July and Hawgood stressed that the players are high on confidence after completing a cleansweep over Malaysia in a six-match Test series last month.
"Our penalty corner work is progressing," the Aussie said. "With some good results in Malaysia we are confident that we have enough ideas about the style and execution of our penalty corners and if executed well, then we should see positive results."