New Delhi: They might not be in the same league of Australia and Holland but India coach Michael Nobbs is determined that his wards will not be going to the London Olympics simply to make numbers.

No one better than Nobbs knows the significance of the job at hand, and the Australian exuded confidence that his wards have the potential to recreate history provided lady luck smiles on them during the London Games.

“With a little bit of luck we can do wonders (in the Olympics). We are really a talented side but the boys need to have belief and absolute confidence in their abilities,” Nobbs said on the sidelines of a felicitation function organised by Hockey India (HI), in Delhi on Sunday.

HI felicitated the 34 living legends — Olympic gold medallists — of Indian hockey with a cash reward of Rs two lakh each from its coffers at a grand function, which also served as the send-off ceremony for the London Olympics-bound team.

But Nobbs said for that to happen, the Indian players need to do away with their habit of committing silly mistakes against top sides like Australia, Germany and the Netherlands.

“To be among the top teams in the world again we need to play more against top sides. But unfortunately, we didn’t play enough against top teams (in the run up to the Olympics).

“The difference between a top side and an ordinary side is that a top team doesn’t make stupid mistakes,” he said.

Just like Nobbs, India captain Bharat Chetri is also fully aware about the high stakes associated with an Olympic medal.

"We are not just going there (London) to participate in the Olympics we want to do something for the country. A medal in London will mean a lot for Indian hockey as it help in reigniting interests for the game among youngsters," Chetri insisted.

"Semi-final is our first target and it is possible if every single player give his 70-80 per cent on the field," the custodian added.

Chetri's deputy and India's mainstay in the mid-field, Sardar Singh even went step ahead and said that he has already started dreaming about a podium finish.

"I am confident of winning a medal. All the players have worked hard for this for the last 8-9 months. In fact, in my dreams, I only think about winning a medal in the Olympics," he said.

Senior striker Tushar Khandker, the most-capped player of India, echoed similar sentiments but gave a more realistic reply when asked about his expectation from the upcoming Games.

"Merely participating in the Olympics won't be enough. We will have to get something from London to bring smiles on the faces of cour countrymen," he said.

Another veteran Ignace Tirkey added: "It's been a long time we won a medal (in the Olympics). A medal is necessary for the revival of Indian hockey."


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