2023 FIH Men's Hockey World Cup | Coach Graham Reid lists reasons for India's failure against New Zealand
Team India was knocked out of the 2023 FIH Men's Hockey World Cup on Sunday after they were stunned by New Zealand in the shootout, and post that coach Graham Reid is not a happy man. He blamed poor PC conversion, lack of chances in the circle, and easy turnovers for the reasons of the loss.
At one point the team led 2-0 during half-time, but post that the pressure got to the Indians, and they were rather sloppy with their defence. They entered the opposition circle regularly but could hardly make use of the opportunities that came their way. On the other hand, New Zealand made the most of their PCs.
"Our corner conversion (was the major reason), but I will also say we had a lot of circle penetrations but we couldn't convert those chances. We scored three goals today and 3-4 or goals usually should be enough. In defence we needed to be tidier," Reid said.
Coach was also critical how the team approached the penalty corners.
"It is a factor but not the only factor, we still created enough chances tonight to win. The problem tonight was that every time we won the ball, we gave it back to them. No, not every time but certainly too many times and you know that is the telling factor for the second or was it the third goal. We turned over the ball but gave it back straight away and lost the opportunity. At this level, you can't do that," said Reid.
It was also surprising that the Indians did so poorly in this aspect of the game as the short-corner experts had attended a special camp for drag-flickers by Dutch expert Bram Lomans just before the World Cup.
"Look, pressure and expectations will always be there, We made some mistakes which we normally don't do. so those are the sort of things that we need to analyse and talk about and come up with a solution for our next game," he said.
"Tonight, it was about consistency and in the last quarter we let ourselves down as we threw the ball down and allowed them to come back. There is a period when every time faces this issue of converting circle penetration). We probably have to go back to the drawing board and work out the solutions," he added.