World Cup 2014 Day Five: Quote, Unquote.

Another great day of action from The Hague has come to a close with wins for Australia, England and the Netherlands. Find out what the players and coaches thought of it all. 

Jodie Kenny, Australia:
Investec World League Semi Final - LondonIt was a tough game and I was happy to get a couple on the board. We defended well and came out with the win which was the main objective. It was nice to see one of the corners go in, I’ve been off the field a lot when we’ve been awarded them so far so it’s good to get a go.

There was a bit of confusion on the penalty stroke, the umpire said she would speak and then blow the whistle but she just whistled which threw me off a bit but it went in, a goal’s goal.

Momentum is very important in a competition like this, especially with a side like the Dutch to come. We’re hopeful we can keep putting points on the board and get ourselves where we need to be.

Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014Bobby Crutchley, England:
I was really pleased with the performance. I thought we were strong and defended as well as we have done so far. We controlled the game for large periods and although they had a lot of possession we created the better chances. It was typical of us keeping it a bit closer than I would have liked. If we could have taken a few more of the chances we created it would have been a bit more comfortable but generally it was a good performance and another step up.

It would have better to score a few more but overall we played some good hockey and it was good to get the three points.

We conceded a corner with four minutes to go and we were thinking if that had gone in we’d have paid for the chances we wasted. We defended the corner well and then obviously scored a good one of our own at the end which made the last four minutes better than the rest, for me, anyway!

Barry Middleton England:
We’ll do our usual preparations on the day off. We’ll come down to the pitch and do a little training in preparation for Australia. We’ve played them and Belgium enough over the last year and half to know what is going to come at us and they probably know what to expect from us. It’ll come down to whether we can play our game the way we want to and put our chances away. It’ll be different to today; with the way they play I’d imagine we won’t have quite so much of the ball. We’ve proved against them in the last twelve months we can hurt them if we play well and we’ll be looking to do that in our next two games.

It’s big for all of us having Iain Lewers back. Just having him on the pitch gave us a lift. We’re now playing with 18 not 17 which helps give people a rest and makes the rotations that bit easier. Everyone knows how good he is and he showed it again today. Even though he hasn’t played for a week or so he’s come straight back in and done what he does. Hopefully he’ll pick up more minutes now and be a big player for us coming through the rest of the tournament.

George Pinner, England:
Today was a bit of a recurring them from the previous games, we were very solid defensively and gave them very little, created some good chances but couldn’t quite get those finishing touches. It’s always nervy at 1-0 but as soon as I saw Ashley step up I was confident he’d get it done.

The goals we’ve conceded in the previous two games I’ve been a bit disappointed with. I haven’t had too many meaningful saves to make, I think there was one in the India game but getting that one today under my belt felt great and hopefully it’ll stand me in good stead for the rest of the games.

Across the team we have players who’ll stand up to be counted. Defensively we have players charging down corners, Mikey Hoare’s today was brilliant and in the same way, Ash isn’t afraid to put his body on the line for the team, which he did again today. You always back Ash off a corner. There’s no one else you’d want stepping up having said that Gleggy and the others have delivered some good corners, too but Ash is class.

Bobby said before the tournament, you don’t want to play your best hockey in the first couple games. We’re playing some good stuff, we’re creating chances. We could do with converting a few more but defensively we’re giving very little away. If we take that into the next couple of games, add a couple of goals it could be very exciting for us.

Miyuki Nakagawa, Japan:
We tried hard but couldn’t make our chances count in the second half. We are improving all the time and we are really pleased with the point.

Jacob Whetton, Australia:
Three from three is a good start to a World Cup but we have plenty to improve on. England and India are big tests and we are looking forward to them.

I was relieved to score my first goal. I had a couple of good chances in the first couple of games that I couldn’t take. I need to keep getting into the right positions, like I do for my club team back home and hopefully the amazing players in this team can keep in finding me and giving me the chances.

Hopefully I can keep doing what I do best and keep a place in the team. I’m feeling good going into the England game. They’re playing some good stuff and it’ll be tough< We know them quite well but we’ll be looking forward to hopefully cementing a semi-final spot in that game. We’ll look at what we need to go well against them and hopefully come out firing.

Terry Walsh, India:
We played resolutely and both teams could have won it. It’s good to pick up a point and we have to give Spain a lot of credit for keeping us at bay. Hopefully we can get some confidence from the match.

Kim Lammers, Netherlands:
I had to wait till the third game to score but I was in the right position and it felt great to see it go in. We had chances to kill the game off but we didn’t take them. We will need to improve that for the next game against Australia.


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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