India’s chief hockey coach Graham Reid feels that world No 22 Russia proved with their performance that rankings hardly have any significance in professional field hockey. India won the match 4-2 but Reid was left disappointed and hopes his team will put up a much-improved performance on Saturday.
World No 22 Russia proved by their performance that rankings hardly have any significance in professional field hockey, believes India’s chief hockey coach Graham Reid, even though the Russians ended on the losing side against eight-time Olympic champions India. Russia dished out a formidable performance in their 2-4 loss to world No 5 India in the first leg of the two-match hockey Olympic qualifier at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar on Friday. Reid was not at all astonished by their opponents’ show.
“I am not surprised with the Russian performance. They came out and played very well. Full credit to them. The world rankings systems hardly matters. It looks like they are 22 in the world but they are a really good team. That’s what I have been telling all along. They had no pressure,” Reid told PTI after the match.
Reid, however, hopes his team will put up a much-improved performance in the second and final match on Saturday.
“I was disappointed with the way our boys played today. I have spoken to them about that. Hopefully, there will be a reaction tomorrow. We can show everyone tomorrow how well we can play,” he said.
Russia coach Vladimir Konkin promised another tough outing for India on Saturday and said his team played well because they followed the instructions provided to them.
“We are still in the game. We will chase the Indian team, we promise you,” Konkin said. “The reason why we played so good is that our guys did exactly what our coaching staff told them to do. That’s why we had some good result. Actually we had a lot of opportunities but we missed them.”