Mattoo brings about a truce between Brasa and players


Pune: Hockey India (HI) president Ashok Kumar Mattoo appears to have brought about at least a temporary truce between the players and national coach Jose Brasa, attributing the recent stand-off between them to a lack of communication.

Support TwoCircles

Both Brasa and deposed captain Sandeep Singh, who is seen as the spearhead of a revolt by senior players, did their bit to defuse the tension by making politically correct statements, though the coach was aggressive while talking to the media.

Mattoo tried to balance his views when he told reporters that apart from the communication gap, the coach should also stop airing demands when HI was trying to provide all facilities to the players.

“There is no problem with the players now that we bridged the communication gap, and as for the coach he should stop making demands,” said Mattoo.

Brasa told IANS Thursday that it was news to him that the players have a whole lot grievances against him, pertaining mostly to his coaching techniques and man management.

Sandeep, for his part, is believed to have promised the authorities that he was fighting hard to get fit to play in the Champions Challenge at Salta, Argentina.

Brasa tried to play down acrimony by reiterating that Sandeep is one of the best defenders in the world and easily the most potent drag-flicker.

The Spaniard made it clear that he has a job on hand he will do it come what may, surmounting all difficulties.

“I am a fighter and I will not give up. I know there are people who are out to sabotage my work here but my job is to make a good team and I will pursue that.”

A worried Mattoo advanced his trip to Pune by a day, realising the gravity of the situation, and by the end of the day he seemed relieved at the turn of events.

Brasa said his meeting with Mattoo was to find ways to improve communication channels between him and the players.

“I had a meeting with HI president Mattoo and we spoke about how to improve the communication.”

Brasa said HI chief has also agreed to consider his demand for personnel and equipment badly needed for the team.

Brasa insisted that none of the coaches or the players ever brought to his notice their reservations about his coaching methods. In fact, everyone seemed happy with the way the team was shaping up.

“I think it was a lack of communication. There are nine coaches here and not one player went up to them or spoke to me about any problem or any differences they have with my coaching techniques.”

“I am very happy with the progress of the team. We have had some good results this year and we are preparing for the World Cup. But there is scope of improvement and all of us are working towards that.”

On Sandeep’s injury, Brasa said: “The doctors said he cannot move out of his bed because he has a spinal cord injury. I am going by the report of the doctors. He will again meet the doctors tomorrow and we will know how much time it will take for the injury to heal.”