Some very happy players from the USA and some less than happy English players and a coach as well as plenty more besides. It’s the quotes from Day 6 of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup.
Rachel Dawson USA:
We feel really good. We knew it’d be a battle but that we need the points so we came out focused and scored some good goals.
Every team is hard to break down here. They’re all offering different challenges. We go into each game expecting a hard contest and we make sure we prepare for it. We know China have the aerial pass out of the back and they can make things hard for us and create chances of their own. We were focused on our game plan and really pleased it came off.
People who haven’t been around this group for a while might not know much about us so it might seem surprising how well we’ve done but we’ve trained hard we’re very united and we’ve put the hours in. We have a great coach and some good leaders on and off the field. It’s not a surprise to us how well it’s gone. We’ve put the time in and it’s nice to reap the benefits.
We’re all about one game at a time. We came here thinking we had a shot at winning but so far we’re just enjoying ourselves and keeping our feet on the ground.
The fans’ support has been incredible. At the Argentina game they blasted the national anthem out and everyone sang it loud. For this game they were there chanting USA! USA! And it gave us a real buzz!
Katie O’Donnell USA:
We feel pretty confident. We played against a very good team today, so to come away with such a great result is a real confidence booster.
I’m not surprised we won but I’m surprised we won by so many. We knew we’d have a tough game and have to fight. We did that and luckily the chances went in.
Juan Manuel Vivaldi, Argentina:
The game went to our plan so we are very happy. We’ve worked hard on being strong in defence which allows us a chance in any game. If we can keep them out and then win some corners we know we have one of the best drag flickers around so we always have a chance to score.
Susannah Townsend, England:
It’s the story of our tournament really. We started very well we took it to them and we had chances once again but then we were sloppy in defence and they deserved to win. If you take your chances you win games. Unfortunately we haven’t done that. It’s not a reflection of the ability in the group we are a fantastic team but it’s disappointing we aren’t showing it on the world stage.
I don’t know the stats for today but we’ve had chances and that’s clear to anyone. We need to be taking these. It’s not just that, though. We’re not taking care of possession well enough, we’re conceding poor goals and we need to have a look and find out where we’re going wrong.
This is new for me. Losing this many games in a tournament is not something I’ve experienced before. It’s easy when you’re winning; it’s easy to continue the momentum. Now we have to rely on the character of the team and pick ourselves up and set new goals, now we can’t win a medal.
Jason Lee, England:
It’s an appalling result for us. The match itself had an even number of chances for both sides, but as has been the case throughout this tournament we failed to take ours and conceded far too cheaply. Early on when we hit the post I thought we were in control and if that had gone in it would have been enough to take us along into the game. Then we conceded two quick goals and with the confidence in our group teetering that made it very hard for us.
As the game progressed we went chasing it which made us stretched and of course it got away from us. It’s a real challenge for us to get the most out of this tournament now in terms of pride and self-esteem.
We’ve been unlucky but that’s no solution for anybody. We’ve got to look at how we can take the chances we create and how we can make it harder for the opposition to score. That’s what we’ve been looking at. I do think the confidence is rock bottom because we’re performing so far off the group’s potential. I need to instil some unity and belief that they can do it. Sometimes you need things to go for you to make it work. There was a collective groan when that shot hit the post early on and we’ve really felt in every game that we’ve needed a bit of luck.
When you concede two soft goals like we did in that game it’s difficult to pick yourselves up. Individually we started to chase more and got out of shape and that made it hard to maintain any quality as a result. Little passes and stops that are norm started to let the girls down. We have to stay tight as a unit and think back to the good times, which were very recent. We had a great 2013, European silver and third place in the World League. It’s still that same team so hopefully I can help them find it again in the next 48 hours.
It’d be easy to make a list of things that have brought about the results. The truth is it’s complex and if it wasn’t complex it’d be easy to solve. We knew we came into the tournament with strengths and weaknesses and with some inexperience I think largely the girls have performed within the range of expectations but mostly in the bottom end of that range. That’s my responsibility to set the tone and maintain the confidence. I’ll be asking a lot of questions of myself in terms of approach and how I can adjust to help them for the next game and the rest of the tournament.
Kate Walsh, England:
It was a long walk to the press conference but it’s given me a chance to calm myself down. We have produced a lot of scoring chances. We’ve been winning the stats battle. If you won games on stats we’d be right in there, but of course you don’t. We need to convert those chances. If you take the chances early the confidence grows and you build momentum from there. I think because of the first two games we’ve had chances that haven’t gone in which has eaten away at our confidence. We need to go away, as we always do and prepare professionally and play for pride and for the shirt we wear, to prove to ourselves that we are the players we know we are. We have to start showing it on the pitch.
Carla Rebecchi, Argentina:
A win today for us was very important so we are very happy. Whenever we go out onto the pitch we give everything. We have a bit of preesure as defending chmpions but we use that as our motivation.
Austin Smith, South Africa:
We were inspired by the great result the women got against England but we were really unlucky not to get the win. We stuck to the game plan and I’m proud of the team for that but in the end it’s a pity we couldn’t quite get the result we wanted. It’s our first point so hopefully we can build on it.
Robbert Kemperman, Netherlands:
Germany are always a quality team who come out hard and really test you. We were grateful to Jaap Stockmann who had a great game in goal. Winning in front of this home crowd in a big game like this is a great feeling.