No need to push panic button, says Hanif

Pakistan hockey coach admits failure but hopes for successful comeback.

Our Correspondent July 09, 2013
Pakistan coach is confident they can win the Asia Cup and qualify for the World Cup. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: As former Olympians continue to assail the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) and national coaches in the wake of the team’s poor finish at the Hockey World League (HWL), coach Hanif Khan called for patience and hoped that the team will bounce back at the Asia Cup.

Pakistan finished seventh at the eight-nation event in Malaysia, missing the chance to qualify for next year’s World Cup which required them to finish among the top three teams.

The poor finish followed calls of removal of the top PHF officials and coaches by former Olympians who were disappointed with the current standing of the once hockey giants of the past.

But Hanif, who returned yesterday from Malaysia, stressed an overhaul will not solve the problems.

“There is no need to push the panic button,” the coach told reporters at Karachi airport.

“We admit that we have missed a golden chance to qualify for the World Cup but we still have another chance.

“Removing the team management or players is not the solution.

“All the coaches worked hard. Most of our players played well but unfortunately results did not go in our favour.

“Our major weakness was missing opportunities but we can surely improve on it.

“I’ll still say that we have the ability to bounce back to win the Asia Cup.”

Pakistan’s only chance of qualifying for the World Cup in Netherlands is by winning next month’s Asia Cup in Malaysia.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2013.

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