The Indian men’s hockey team needs to work on its defence, said coach Graham Reid. Reid said that the biggest learning he took from their recently concluded tour of Europe was that the team allows the opposition to come back into the game in the middle periods of matches too often.
“We will go over the data from this tour once we return to SAI, Bengaluru but the first things that requires 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,” said Reid in a release from Hockey India.
“We go back to Bengaluru from here and will be training there for a few weeks before we set out on another tour of our FIH Pro League matches in Argentina. I believe the next few months leading up to Tokyo (2020 Tokyo Olympics) are 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.
India secured a 6-1 win and 1-1 draw against Germany in Krefeld, Germany. They followed this up with a 1-1 draw and 3-2 win against Great Britain in Antwerp, Belgium.
“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 PCs in,” said Reid.
“The second game saw better defensive efforts from us. The third against GB was OK. It was a bit colder in Antwerp, 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 further said.
India’s Pro League tie against Argentina will be held in Buenos Aires on April 10 and 11.