A lacklustre India on Monday slumped to their second defeat at the Hockey World League (HWL) Final in Bhubaneshwar and chief coach Sjoerd Marijne was livid with the execution skills of his boys.
Despite having the better share of chances in their final Pool B match against Germany, the hosts could not execute them and went down 0-2.
Summing up the performance of his players at the end of the pool stage, coach Marijne said better match statistics doesn’t have any significance if a team can’t win.
“If you look at the match statistics, we have more circle entries, more penalty corners, more ball possession but eventually it is about scoring. The chances we get we have to
make use of them,” the Dutchman said at the post-match press conference.
“In the second half we played well. We created chances but didn’t execute them and they (Germany) knew how to execute their opportunities. One team have more ball possession but what matters is execution. It’s about who scores most goals. It’s about winning the match,” said the coach.
After producing an inspired performance with a 1-1 draw against world champions Australia, an inconsistent India slumped to back-to-back defeats against England (2-3) and Germany (0-2) to finish at the bottom of their pool.
Marijne said the Indians have plenty of work to do ahead of their Wednesday’s quarterfinal encounter against the top team of Pool A, which will be decided on Tuesday.
“We need to improve on our penalty corners and shots on goal. I always like when the players get freedom to play but that’s not how we started in the last two matches. We didn’t
start fast. In the beginning of the first half we committed plenty of technical errors. Once that happens, it is really difficult to come back into rhythm,” he said.
He, however, was pleased with the way the team responded in the last two quarters.
“We were 0-2 down but I was happy to see the team fighting on. In the first half, our technical skills were not good enough. We didn’t play stick to stick hockey. The Germans
were very good in their technical skills,” Marijne said.
India captain Manpreet Singh agreed with the observation of his coach.
“We committed many unforced errors today. We need to improve on our passing,” he said.