Indian hockey team captain Manpreet Singh on Tuesday said converting opportunities into goals will be crucial in the FIH Series Finals, their starting point for the Tokyo Olympics qualifications, beginning in Bhubaneswar on June 6.

Speaking about the importance of the tournament, Manpreet said that the Indian players would want to convert whatever chances they get. Converting opportunities has been a factor where India has struggled in important games of late.

“This tournament is important for us as we can qualify for the Olympics from here only. So we will take one match at a time and go match by match. Our focus is to gain our confidence level, put up a good performance and win by a good score,” Manpreet told reporters. “We want to capitalise on the chances and convert them into goals that we get and strengthen our defence.”

Experienced defender Birendra Lakra has been named as the vice-captain of the team, playing it on his home turf.

According to Lakra, the team has got a good mix of youth and experience. “There has been a problem in scoring goals and restricting the opponents from scoring in the last few minutes. The new coach is helping us understand the problem through video analysis,”he said. “Till we end our practice session, we are trying to improve on scoring goals ourselves in the last few minutes and restricting the opponents from scoring towards the end as well.”