India's chief coach Greg Clark was bullish about his team's quarterfinal chances in the FIH junior hockey World Cup despite losing 2-3 to Netherlands in their opening pool match in New Delhi on Friday.
Clark said his wards "very well know" what they need to do to progress to knock-out stages of the mega-event. India now have to win their remaining two games against Canada and Korea to stay in the hunt for a quarterfinal berth.
Despite the loss, Clark praised his boys for their fighting show against the Dutchmen. "I am obviously disappointed with the result but we played hard. It was a difficult game. We were very competitive tonight. I am happy with our game today. We showed our fighting spirit in the second half," he said after the match. Asked about their quarterfinal chances, Clark said, "We have got two more games and we very well know what we need to do to qualify for the quarterfinals." Clark said Netherlands were the better side on display when it came down to creating scoring opportunities of Friday.
"They crated more scoring chances from the field. The first goal we conceded was a soft goal. May be the first 10 minutes of the match was the difference. We can't afford to make such technical errors," the coach said. "We didn't really adjust to the tempo in the first half compared to our performance in the second half."
India captain Manpreet Singh said the hosts need to tighten their defence in the coming matches of the tournament. "The first two goals we conceded were because of defensive lapses. So we need to work hard on our defence," he said. "The way we played in the second half we could have won the match."