Hockey World League Final: India coach Sjoerd Marijne lavishes praise on Germany
India coach Sjoerd Marijne lauded Germany for their fighting performance against India despite having only 11 fit players in the squadother sports Updated: Dec 11, 2017 17:45 IST
It wasn’t just the fans here that were impressed by a depleted Germany’s fighting performance in the third place playoff against the hosts. India coach Sjoerd Marijne too lavished praise on the South Americans even though they came out second best, losing 2-1.
“It was a great performance from Germany, and the goalkeeper was superb under the bar. They fought really hard,” said Marijne.
“The players were a little bit scared, to lose the ball. I am happy with the win, because matches like these are not easy. Because it all (11 vs 18) plays in the head. The most important thing is mentality with which we won the match. Of course, we can improve.”
“The most important thing in this tournament was consistency. That’s the thing we need to work on. We played at the highest level. Now I know what happens mentally, now we can take steps, what we need to change,” he said before adding, “We will take our time for that. We have to learn our lessons. The easier thing is to see what we didn’t do well. I know that. But if you create chances, it means you did something good.”
Marijne added that for him it’s always about the team, not the individuals. “We want to score 100 goals. There are seven young guys who played the tournament at the highest level against top countries. The guys train so hard to improve on penalty corners (PC).”
Team’s drag-flick expert Harmanpreet Singh, however, appreciated the efforts the side had put in to win the bronze medal. “We can’t play hockey without practice, so we practice everything, including penalty corners. If you don’t make a mistake, you won’t learn. It’s good to make mistakes. It’s also important to learn lessons in defeat when you have done well.”
Captain Manpreet Singh sounded relieved. “We just wanted to win the match. We went all out to apply pressure. We got the ball a lot. We didn’t want to dwell on the number of their players. We just wanted to score off our chances. We missed but overall it was a good performance.”
“The juniors are good. They have done well in the Asia Cup and here. They have done the hard work. They never felt they were the juniors. We have them in both attack and defence. I think they will play an important role in future tournaments.”
Germany’s coach Stefan Kermas praised his men for their superlative display in tough circumstances. “I am really happy with the performance because it was quite difficult to play two matches in 24 hours with seven players injured. I think it was really a good mix of holding the ball and going forward,” he said. “We had our chances as we got seven PCs.”
However, he accepted that much more important is to see the kind of spirit his team developed to push each other in such an important match. “We did everything we could do on Sunday. Congrats to India. The score-sheet for me is the right one. Look at the smile (points at Gramsbusch).”
“Like I said on Saturday, I am not happy with the schedule. Schedule is not fair for such an important tournament. Problem is if you have 24 hours or 48 hours. That makes a big difference,” he said, adding, “There is possibility of a fair schedule. I have never seen a tournament when one team has got one more day ahead of the final.”
On the issue of player’s illness, Kermas sounded a bit unaware. “The problem is we don’t know the exact reason (of players’ illness). We will try to find out, run checks. We want to keep this danger as small as we can (for World Cup). There is one year to go, time for that. Illness can attack your tournament. We played very well, without four-five players it’s not possible to win tournaments. One guy has flown back and other six are at the hotel.”
Skipper Mats Grambusch confessed that how the team prepared for the match despite being short of fit-players. “We talked in the morning. I told the boys go for bronze. And everybody said let’s do it. So we started working on our strategy,” he said. “We are proud of our team performance.”
First Published: Dec 10, 2017 23:29 IST