World Cup 2014: Day 2 Quote, Unquote.

Another day of World Cup action, another day of posing the questions to the best players in the world. Read on to find out how they saw the second day of competition in The Hague. 

Tobias Hauke, Germany:
The first game of the tournament is always really hard because you don’t know what level your team is at. It was an important match against a difficult opponent. They counterattacked well and created some chances but we played well too. Now we have to get better and improve for the challenges ahead. It’s really important to get a win in the first game. We have five games and after those five games we have to be in the top two to get to the semi-finals and these three points are vital towards that. The next games are going to be hard but we are well prepared for that. I have had a good year, as you say, but the World Cup would trump all that. Our group is really hard so we’re only thinking of the next game, not winning the final.

Jason Lee, England:
We’re very disappointed with the result. I don’t think it has to derail our ambitions for the rest of the tournament, in many ways it focuses our minds a little bit more as we’re running out of slip room. Fundamentally we didn’t start particularly well. The first ten minutes didn’t reflect our ability at all. America took two well worked corners and from then on we were chasing the game. We created a lot of good chances. Their corner defence was good but on another day we might have taken our chances and won the game. I felt quite confident at half time we would score goals and hoped we’d get enough but it wasn’t to be. I think we’ve learned that how we start is crucial and as I said it could’ve done us a favour because we now have no choice in the second game, we have to hit our straps from the first second.

Kate Walsh, England:
We’ve played in front of big crowds before. Lots of our players have played in big games at the Europeans and the World League so they’re used to playing big games in front of big crowds. We need to look at ourselves individually and start games, as Jason said, at full pace, full tilt and go for it from the start.

Craig Parnham, USA:
We started a little bit better than England. We got in some good positions and created some good opportunities. We’re pleased with the fact we were able to create these chances and take our corners. I’m also pleased because we showed some really resolute defending when England put us under pressure and we did well to see it out and pick up the win. The girls did a great job today.

I’ve not done anything too remarkable since taking over, really. It’s just a case of changing the way we train. We have more time on the pitch, more access to players and just being able to get things done the way we want. I have a fantastic group of players with a great spirit and energy they work hard every day and it pays off. We’re far from the finished article but we’re going in the right direction.

Lauren Crandall USA:
Coming into this game we knew it was going to be tough. England are a great side but we try to focus on ourselves and hit the ground running. As a team this win means we now look to Argentina in our next match. There is no time for celebration; our focus is now the next game. For the most part we know Argentina; we will remind ourselves about them and make sure we’re prepared. We made some mistakes and England put us on the back foot for most of the second half so we need to tweak a bit, take some lessons and get ready for Argentina.

Jamilon Mulders, Germany:
The game was as hard as we expected. The Chinese are not interested in creative play, which we knew before so the technical side of things we had made the right plans for. Our corners were good and we were unfortunate not score from those. We played too much through the middle and not enough wide. I’m pleased with the way the girls worked and how they tried to win the game but not pleased with the result. We could perform a bit better in the future, as it was a typical start to a championship. We’ll try to improve in the next game.

Jaap Stockmann, the Netherlands:
We played very well, especially first half. We created a lot of opportunities we couldn’t score more than one but we felt we were on top. We played well second half as well and we deserved the win. They’re tough games. For me it is important to stay focused and not get emotional. A win in the first game is important. It is good to get three the points. If you lose once you put yourselves under pressure for the rest of the matches. The crowd are like the twelfth man for us, they give us great support and the energy and we hope to do well for them.

Rogier Hofman, the Netherlands:
I think we deserved to win. It was a difficult game they came out strong and had a lot of corners. We kept going and I’m happy we won.

The one I hit in the first half that came back off the bar, I thought I’d scored perhaps I got too excited. I’m happy to get a goal later on though and to hear the noise the crowd made was amazing.

Three points is the most important thing. It’s nice to play well but a win is what we won’t above anything else. It gives us confidence for the next game.

Phil Burrows, New Zealand:
There are games where you don’t play that well and you have to grind the result out. Korea are a tough side to break down. We are delighted to get the points and now we move on to the next game.

Luciana Aymar, Argentina:
They work hard and it made it tough game. We created a lot of penalty corners but we’d like to be more clinical from open play. We got into the circle a lot of times but we made the wrong choices, so we will have to be better with our decisions in the next game.

More quotes to follow each day. Keep checking The Top of the D for all the latest goings on at the World Cup.

About thetopofthed

Columnist for The Hockey Paper and the man behind The Top of the D. Writer, podcaster, goalkeeper and BBC Sport man. Used to work for Great Britain Hockey and have covered the sport at every major tournament.
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