World Cup 2014: Day 11 Quote, Unquote.

A place in the final for the Dutch and the Australians, plus wins for England and South Africa. See what the players and coaches made of it all here. 

Kate Richardson-Walsh, England:
We didn’t quite get to grips with our press as well as we wanted in the first half. Belgium have some good skilful players and we were aware of that and had done our homework. We still didn’t quite deliver the press so at half time we changed a few things and that caused them more problems and allowed us to put more pressure on the ball.

It’s been tough. This is the last game of a long tournament, we’re tired but it’s all about mentality. I’m sad it went to a shootout but I’m glad we managed to finish on a high.

I said before the tournament I was going to retire this summer. I was quite clear in communicating that with the team and I was confident in making that decision. It was about me and where I am in my career and it had no effect on the rest of the squad. The way we’ve played in this tournament and the results we’ve had I think it’s very complex and difficult situation. There are a lot of factors we will have to look at to ensure this doesn’t happen again but I’m pretty confident me retiring wasn’t the reason this happened.

Jason Lee, England:
Rabobank Hockey World Cup 2014The ranking table doesn’t lie. You have to do things that win the games and we’ve failed to do that.
I certainly think we played to a good standard in the first two games but lady luck was against us. At that point the confidence had gone. The girls got a grip of the tournament as we progressed. We changed a few things around and we’ve played to a good standard in the last few games against the world No2 [Argentina] and Germany the European champions. Belgium, with the exception of the Dutch game have been close in all their matches, I think they would reflect, like us that they‘re better than their position suggests.

I think there’ll be changes in mentality and approach and changes within our control and outside of it. I feel like I’m quite pragmatic. We played some decent hockey we just didn’t put the ball in the net. When they had a shot it went in too often. I think we’re quite a small distance from being the team we are in the rankings; we won’t drop too far after this.

I think USA are a good example for us and that’s why we’re staying to watch them in the semi-final. They came last at London 2012 two years ago and now they’re challenging for the World Cup. They only made some small changes. It’s not beyond the capability of the side to recover from a bad tournament, especially when you’re a decent side. We’ve seen it with the USA and we want to match that and better it.

I never panic, personally. The job of an international coach is up and down. This is my worst experience by some distance as a coach, but one of the girls quite eloquently put it this morning: it’s the hard times that make you reflect and really learn. I get a sense from the girls they are focused and optimistic they can and will do better.

Susie Gilbert, England:
It was good to get the win overall. It wasn’t the game we’d hoped to be playing in and it’s been a tough couple of weeks but we’ll go back and reflect. We’ve got a busy summer ahead with the Investec London cup and the Commonwealth games so we’ll try to take the positives and move on.

We’ve got so much character in our team. We showed that as the tournament went on and we showed the fight and character today and picked ourselves up after a tough competition to get the win.

[On the shootout] We’re very task orientated and focused and we wanted to do our jobs. I said a few words to myself when I was waiting to take my mine and imagined I was back at Bisham doing them. I try not to think of the situation stay calm and composed and get the ball over the line and help the team

There are still strengths and positives to take from the competition and we’ll go home and work really hard and make sure we’re at our best for the coming months.

Austin Smith, South Africa:
It’s great to get our second win of the last three World Cup competitions. It means a lot and the low number shows you just how hard it is to win in this tournament. We’ve finished one place above our world ranking which is positive but in truth we were hoping to compete in the 7th-8th game. We didn’t set specific goals but looking at some of the games and how we did we could easily have finished higher up. This has been the best World Cup I’ve been involved in. The atmosphere and the village, the stadium has all been incredible.

130629 AUS CHN 008Edwina Bone Australia:
It’s unbelievable at the moment. It was always our aim to make the final and we’ve worked hard and gone through a lot of preparation. I wouldn’t say we deserve it more than anyone else as I know they all work hard but it hasn’t been easy and we’ve played some great teams and I’m delighted we’re there.

We thought we might play England, Germany or Argentina with the USA coming through we had to do a lot of work to prepare as they aren’t a team we’ve played regularly. They’re a really hard working team and there isn’t a lot you can do to prepare for that except work hard yourselves. They were tough. They wouldn’t lie down and they’re quick, too. It was a nightmare! They do the basics really well and run at you all day long. Their speed and skills really stepped up and gave us a lot of trouble.

We’ve practiced shootouts just in case. Our goalies are good at them and we like to have a competition in training amongst the group on them, so we’re well prepared. Rachael Lynch is great and I back her 100% but I would back Ashlee Wells too.

We don’t mind who we play in the final. They’re both tough for different reasons. We’ll see what happens.

Rachael Lynch, Australia:
It was a really tough game. We thought we had it at 2-1 but they showed a lot of fight.
We’ve practiced the 1v1 shootout a lot so I went in really confident and I really enjoyed it. We’d done plenty of preparation and research so I had an idea of what to do and fortunately it came off. I have confidence in the girls and I know we’ll score some, so if I can keep a few out I’m rapped! Whoever we play will be tough but it’s exciting and we’re looking forward to it.

Craig Parnham, USA:
Investec World League Semi Final - LondonI’m incredibly proud of the group. We played very well today against a world class team. We managed the game well and created some chances. This group has done an incredible job. We’re disappointed and we should be but we’ll move on and focus on the bronze medal game and see how we can attack that one.

Joyce Sombroek, Netherlands:
We’re really happy. It was a convincing win as well, we played very well and our first goal was to get to the final, which we’ve done, but we haven’t won anything yet. We need to reach our second goal of picking up the gold medal. We can enjoy it but we need to recover and focus for the next game.

We’re defending very well. I didn’t have much to do today. A clean sheet is nice. It would be great to keep it that way and get another in the final, but we’re keeping our feet on the ground and we’ll be fighting for the next game.

Australia are a good team. We saw that in the pool game. We’ll prepare as well as we can to ensure we’re ready. It should be an exciting game with a lot of attractive hockey.

For Kim Lammers to score the winner in the final would be perfect for her. She will have reached 200 caps and it’s her goodbye but it doesn’t matter who scores as long as we win.

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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