Indian women's hockey coach, Sjoerd Marijne has claimed that his team is high on confidence ahead of this month’s Asian Games despite finishing eighth at the World Cup. Marijne added that his team were not looking for excuses after their loss and hoped to improve their game on the attacking front.
The Indian women’s hockey team endured a tough challenge at this year’s Women’s World Cup. The team lost twice to Ireland - once in the group stages and then again in the knockouts - to bow out in the quarters. However, despite the young Indian team finishing eighth at the tournament, they achieved their best-ever world ranking as they climbed up a spot to ninth place in the latest FIH World Rankings published on Tuesday by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
Women’s team coach, Sjoerd Marijne, believes that his team will be full of confidence at the moment which will help them perform better at this month’s 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
“We have a lot of self-confidence because we did better than the other teams. It is important to take that to the Asian Games and that’s what the girls also feel. The defending was really good but we must not lose it now. We need to intercept more balls and need to do more with them, then we will score more,” Marijne told The Hindu.
The pitch in London faced a lot of criticism due to its slow nature which made it hard for the teams to pass the ball smoothly. But Marijne was not looking for excuses as he maintained that there were some areas which needed to be worked on ahead of this month’s tournament.
"All teams have to play on the same surface. It is not an excuse but a fact. The slow pitch was one of the reasons it was difficult to pass the ball fast and there were so many turnovers. Only Holland managed to do it, everyone else struggled.
“Same was the case during penalty corners. Not too many were converted by any team and the ones that were scored were variations because the pitch was a bit bumpy. In the last match also, the injection wasn't good and the ball was not in a good position to score.
“We started playing short passes more than long ones because it was more difficult to intercept short ones. Now, if we can combine short and long passes, it would be ideal. But we maintained the discipline and the structure, which was very important ahead of the Asian Games,” Marijne added.
The women’s team are the top-ranked Asian team at present and are scheduled to play Japan in practice games after reaching Jakarta next week.