Happy with team's showing against Germany, Britain: Hockey Chief Coach Graham Reid
New Delhi, March 10, 2021
Chief Coach Graham Reid has expressed satisfaction over the Indian men's hockey team's performance during their two-week tour of Europe where they remained unbeaten.
"I'm pretty happy with the performance; I'm very happy with the way the tour was -- from the point of view of getting some international competition. That was really important," Reid told Hockey India from Antwerp in Belgium.
In the four-match tour, India had a 6-1 win and 1-1 draw against Germany in Krefeld. They followed this up with a 1-1 draw and 3-2 win against Great Britain in Antwerp, Belgium.
According to the coach, this experience will be critical in their lead-up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
"We go back to Bengaluru from here and will be training there for a few weeks before we set out on another tour for our FIH Pro League matches in Argentina. I believe the next few months leading up to Tokyo is going to be busy for us with competition and some training in between where we will work on the things we need to.
"The Olympic year has well and truly started now for us and we need to accelerate our learnings," he said.
"Our performances against Germany were mixed. It was pretty good beating them 6-1, we took them by surprise and made good use of the opportunities, but we let too many penalty corners in."
"The second game saw better defensive efforts from us. The third against GB was OK. It was a bit colder in Antwerp, a different pitch and perhaps we didn't play as well as we should have. But the last game (where India beat GB 3-2) was first-class! We led most of the game, came back twice from a stalemate, scored in the last few minutes which is a really important thing to get over."
He admitted that the team's niggles need to be addressed when they return to the training pitch in SAI, Bengaluru.
"We will go over the data from this tour once we return to SAI, Bengaluru but the first things that require attention is: making sure we tighten our defence. We allow them (opponents) to come back in the middle (of the game) a bit too much. The last match was a little bit better. We are starting to make some ground on that."
"We are getting into the 25-mark a lot, we found that during our FIH Pro League matches too but we need to get better returns from our 25 entries. Convert them into circle entries, goal shots, and PCs.
"We have tried some different things here in Europe. Some things worked, some didn't. Overall, I am quite happy," Reid concluded.