"The pools in the FIH Hockey World Cup and the Olympics are always difficult" - Indian men's hockey team coach Graham Reid

Indian men
Indian men's hockey team's coach Graham Reid. (PC: Hockey India)

Indian men's hockey team chief coach Graham Reid has opined that draws at major tournaments like the FIH World Cup and the Olympics are always difficult. He believes so because every team comes into flagship tournaments with the aim of going all the way.

The FIH Hockey Men's World Cup will be played in Bhubaneshwar and Rourkela from January 13 to 29, 2023. India have been drawn in Pool D with England, Spain and Wales in the showpiece event.

β€œThe pools in the FIH Hockey World Cup and the Olympics are always difficult. Every team is there to win. We just played England and Wales in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and the games were of the highest quality," Graham Reid told Hockey India.

Spain will increase level of competitiveness in earlier rounds, opines coach

t With three top teams in India's pool, first-round matches will be difficult, with Graham Reid singling out Spain for praise. He added that the intensity and competitiveness of the tournament will only grow as one approaches the business end.

"Spain, who have been improving in the last 12 months, will make the first-round games very difficult. As is the case with the finals qualification system now in place, you also have to keep one eye on the cross-over pool and it certainly doesn't get any easier there," he added.

Read: Task cut out for Indian men after being drawn alongside England and Spain for FIH Hockey World Cup 2023

When asked if playing against Spain in the FIH Hockey Pro League would help in the preparatory journey ahead of the World Cup, Graham Reid said:

β€œIt always swings and roundabouts when you play games against future opponents in the big tournaments. Either you try strategies that you may want to use in the World Cup or you show nothing and miss that opportunity! They (opponents) can learn as much about you as you can learn about them.”

Graham Reid hopes India can bury ghosts of 2018 World Cup

In the 2018 World Cup, the Indian men's hockey team bowed out in the quarter-finals. Reid said this World Cup will be different as the team have different personnel and will be playing in front of their home crowd, an experience they are looking forward to. He also said that india have to focus on every aspect of the game throughout the competition.

"The important part about the World Cup 2023 is that we have to keep our minds in the moment and focus on each and every aspect of the game. It is a very different team than it was four years ago, with different experiences and different personnel. We are looking forward to the World Cup and playing in front of our home crowd.”

Also read: "We introspected our performances in Birmingham and started training with a fresh approach" - Indian hockey team defender Amit Rohidas

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Edited by S Chowdhury
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