ISLAMABAD   -  Former Pakistan hockey team captain and hero of 1994 world cup Mansoor Ahmed described Pakistan hockey team's performances in recent years as well below par and held team management responsible for the poor showings.

In an exclusive interview with The Nation on Sunday legendry goalkeeper Mansoor said: “It is not the first time that green shirts had shown poor results in the World Hockey League. It’s been three years now the team is giving same miserable results and the performance of the team is going from bad to worse with each passing day.”

Mansoor said the management had completely failed to bring a consistent goalie. “Conflicts between team management and non-professional coaches are the main reason behind team's continuous poor results. Akhtar Rasool and Hanif khan were no doubt legendry players, but they both don't have any coaching experience and nor they have done coaching courses. That is the main reason they are still applying old tactics, which are not working for the team.”

He said there was absolutely no coordination between defense, midfield and attack. “We have not managed to develop a plenty-corner specialist after Sohail Abbas. This main area is left on the mercy of newcomers, who don't know the basics of how to take a plenty-corner. That is why the goal conversion ratio on plenty-corners is very poor.”

He said the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) should completely overhaul the entire team management and must replace the aging players with fresh blood and immediately hire a coach who had done coaching courses and had vision to take Pakistan hockey forward. “The coach should be appointed on long-term basis and must know the latest hockey techniques and had the basic know how of modern day hockey.”

Mansoor said he was a strong advocate of local coaches. “Instead of wasting huge national wealth on foreign coaches, the PHF should hire local coaches, as country is blessed with so many past greats, who had a vast experience of not only playing themselves but also they remain in touch and had the complete knowledge of modern hockey. This would serve PHF both purposes. First players would have no language problem and they would communicate with each other smoothly and secondly it would help the federation in saving huge national exchequer and the desired results could be achieved in a very short span of time.”

He said the time was ripe to show the door to incompetent management, who had failed to produce even a single world class player in almost five years. “Goalkeeping coach should also be hired, as this is the most important area, which is being long ignored by all the previous coaches. Modern day hockey mainly revolves around goalkeeper and majority of victories achieved by the top hockey playing nations are based on quality goalkeeping. Forward line and defense has to perform to stand any realistic chance of qualifying for the next year’s world cup in the Netherlands” he added.

Pakistan have to win the Asia Cup to earn right to play in the world's most prestigious event next year and Mansoor thinks that this target could not be achieved through same management. “If PHF continues with same bunch of players and team management, then it is almost certain Pakistan would not play in the next year’s World Cup, Mansoor concluded.