Bottom placed Dabur Mumbai Magicians would look to salvage some pride when they take on second placed Ranchi Rhinos in their last league encounter of the Hero Hockey India League at the Mumbai Hockey Association Stadium on Thursday.
The Magicians went into their last two league encounters in a must-win situation to keep alive their semi-finals hopes. But a 1-0 loss against fellow strugglers Uttar Pradesh Wizards yesterday was enough for them to go out of reckoning for a semi-final berth.
The Sandeep Singh-led side, who have gathered 15 points from 11 outings, have managed to win only one match in the entire tournament so far and the team's defensive frailties have meant that the Magicians could never launch a serious challenge in the competition.
Even ending their campaign with a consolation win is also not going to be easy for the hosts against the Rhinos, who are likely to rest their star players ahead of the semi-finals.
The Rhinos have already secured a second place in the league standing and would be facing either Jaypee Punjab Warriors or Uttar Pradesh Wizards in the semi-finals on their home turf and coach Gregg Clark would definitely want to give some of his fringe players a longer run in their last league encounter.
Mumbai Magicians skipper Sandeep Singh said that they will give their best tomorrow.
"Our team did not perform well throughout the League and did not get the results we wanted. But we will try for a good result in the last match, we will give our best," he said.
Ranchi Rhinos coach Gregg Clark said that their team would want to continue the winning momentum for semifinal match.
"Our approach for tomorrow's match will be the same as previous matches. We will play with same focus and passion against Dabur Mumbai Magicians. As our next match is Semi-Final, we want to take this momentum there," stated Clark.