Junior Hockey World Cup: India not under any pressure, says coach Clark

New Delhi, Dec 8: Indian team coach Gregg Clark said that his boys will not be under any pressure when they take on South Korea in their last Pool C clash of the Hockey Junior World Cup Tuesday at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium.

The India-Korea clash is a do-or-die clash as whichever team wins, progresses to the quarterfinals.

“We are full of confidence going into the match and the boys should do well. They have prepared well and are up and ready for the match. We are not under any pressure as this is as much of a do or die match for us as for them,” Clark said here Sunday.

“This Korean side is vastly improved and they played quite well against the Netherlands. Psychologically they will still have the 6-1 defeat we handed them in September at the Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia. But this is a World Cup and not a six-nation tournament so the conditions are different.”

Speaking on India’s two matches so far — the 2-3 loss to the Netherlands and the 3-2 victory over Canada — Clark said that his side is making inroads into the scoring zone but not converting their chances.

“The main problem was that we could not convert our chances despite creating a lot of opportunities in the circle. We got to be more accurate in our next encounters. Defensively we were strong and organised. I hope we do better against Korea,” added Clark, who was also the coach of Ranchi Rhinos which won the inaugural Hockey India League.

“We limited the opposition’s chances and played with speed. I think anxiety took over the boys after we went 0-1 down early in the Canada game. But I think we showed character by coming back and beating a very good Canadian side. The bottom line is we won the match and got the three points we wanted,” said the South African.