World Cup 2014: Day 3, Quote, Unquote.

Plenty of drama unfolded on day three of the Rabobank World Cup. Last gasp wins, goals galore and plenty more besides. Find out what the players and the coaches made of it all.

Casey Eastham, Australia:
We let ourselves down in the first half and didn’t play our attacking game. Our defensive work was solid enough and Japan played really tight and compact, making it hard for us to break through. It’s important to get the three points. It might not have been pretty but it sums up the mentality and the quality of the group we have that we are still able to get results.

Jamie Dwyer, Australia:
We feel pretty good after that. The first half was a solid performance. Second half we were a bit sloppy but if you’d asked us at the start of the tournament would you take two wins from two we definitely would. We’re in a good position now we’ll have to look forward to Belgium in our next game. They are one of the world cup favourites so it’ll be difficult.

It’s difficult adjusting to the different styles in such a short space of time but we try to concentrate mainly on ourselves and what we’re going to do. If we do that well we know we’ll be tough to beat. We change a few things for each game and it seems to be working so far. Today we got the better of Spain and we’re very happy with that.

Three goals today but we could have had a few more, but perhaps we need to save a few for later on in the week!

Simon Mantell England:
I think we feel relief more than anything. We had a fair amount of pressure and a good amount of possession. We didn’t create loads of chances but there were enough that we felt confident we could score the goals to win the game. Perhaps we left it a little bit late, though!

Ashley [Jackson] put the ball in perfectly for the deflection. We’ve been managing his injury but sometimes you have to put your body on the line, which is what Ashley did for us today. Every team has injuries but the good thing with us is that none of ours seem to be long term. Hopefully we’ll be back at full strength soon.

You don’t have time to think, the ball just dropped and I knew I had to get a good connection on it and fortunately it went in. That might the most important goal I’ve scored for England. Goals at the end of a game when you’re level always feel important. The main thing is the three points, though. It was crucial we got the win.

We’ve got two days off now, so we can get some rest and recovery in, do some analysis and get prepared for the next challenge. The win means we are all really looking forward to it now.

Bobby Crutchley, England:
It was an incredibly tight game that could easily have gone either way. I thought India played very well, put us under pressure and negated us. We were a bit sloppy in some of our play but in the end we’re delighted to have got the win.

Mantell’s celebrations show the passion that’s there. All the players are desperate to get wins for the team and they want it too much at times. I’m delighted for Simon obviously. He’s been around a long time and had some disappointments with injuries for big tournaments but it was a relief to see the goal go in and he showed it more than anyone. You have to feel for the Indian goalkeeper. That was one of the best saves I’ve seen and yet the rebound still ends up in net.

Ashley’s got a problem with his shoulder. As you can see he’s not flicking the ball. The one he did flick caused some pain. Hopefully with two more days off, Ashley can recover in time for the Malaysia game.

These are long tournaments. You need to be calm throughout and concentrate on your game. It’s a World Cup so every game is hard and we saw that today. We want to play better than we did today, but I’m delighted they stuck at it. Sometimes teams can fall under pressure but we stood up. It could have gone either way. Credit to them they are tougher opposition than people give them credit for and on another day they could have won that game.


Barry Middleton, England:
It was a tough game. It was hard work for both sides. We were a bit sloppy first half and we were upset at half time with the way we were playing. Our use of the ball wasn’t how we wanted it to be but the second half we felt better and felt like we had more control. We battled hard and even when we don’t play at our best we want to be hard to beat and able to grind out results. That’s how you get through tournaments and we’ve shown that today. We rode our luck at times but we fought to the end.

For a team who’s quite young and still growing in world hockey we showed a lot of control and composure to score a goal late on and then see the game out. I’m really proud of the boys for that.

Tom Boon, Belgium:
It feels good to score some goals. I’ve not scored for a little while so it’s nice to get back in the habit. They made it difficult for us but we stuck to our system which allowed us to score six goals. We now look ahead to Australia in the next match. If we play at our best we can beat them.

Maartje Paumen, Netherlands:
We played much better in the second half today. We’re very happy with the points. There are always things you can work on and improve but overall I’m really happy with how we played today. We’ll have a look at the video tomorrow and work out what we need to change, though.

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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