Saturday, December 9, 2023

‘This isn’t the end’: India’s coach warns of things to come against ‘underdogs’ GB

Defeats to Netherlands and Germany have left India rock bottom of Pool A but their Dutch coach Sjoerd Marijne can see a glimmer of hope against defending champions Great Britain women at the Tokyo Olympics.

GB also lost their opener before improving in their second Olympics run out in Tokyo, and according to Marijne will need to be at their Rio best to see off the improving Asian outfit.

“The results will come. We’re taking the good things from this match (2-0 loss against Germany) and also we have to say ‘OK, what can we improve?’ 

“I think already we were better than against Netherlands. But it’s tough to start against the two best teams in the world.

“I’m happy that we really can cope with them, that’s my feeling. In ball possession, non-ball possession, we’re not just giving the balls away. I’m happy with our speed, I’m happy with our fitness (and) I really feel this is not the end. There’s much more for us coming up.”

The Rio gold medallists have arrived in Japan well under the radar after more top billing for 2012 and 2016, something Izzy Petter thinks suits them anyway.

“I think a lot of teams see us as a bit of an underdog. They don’t expect much from us from previous results but we’re one to watch, for sure.”

The forward said she thought India could provide a confidence boost if GB can start firing on all cylinders.

“We had about 10 corners (in the 4-1 win against South Africa) and it felt like we were all over the Germans. We just need to put away our chances and just keep grinding it out.”

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