LONDON: India's hockey players have a role model within their ranks and should look at play-maker Sardar Singh for inspiration, says coach Michael Nobbs.
Sardar has stood out among the fumbling Indian players, continuously feeding the strikers from his centre-half position and also bolstered the defence that has repeatedly shown signs of crumbling under the slightest of pressure.
"Look at Sardar Singh and the effort he puts on the field. Even when things have gone wrong for the team, he has played his heart out," says Nobbs, facing the enormous task of getting the team spirits up for India's last match which they need to win to avert a bottom place in the 12-team Olympic Games hockey competition.
Nobbs acknowledged that his players had struggled in India's return to the Games after missing out on the qualification for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The coach said the Indian players had improved their fitness following an extended training programme, but they were unable to produce the game they were capable of.
"Sardar is an exception. Thank God he's in this team and had played the game expected from someone representing his country," Nobbs said. "If only the other players had been inspired by seeing the effort he has put in," said Nobbs of the star mid-fielder, who made his Olympic Games debut soon after receiving a stinging blow just under his knee during India's tour of Europe before arriving in London.