Jr hockey world cup: We need to be calm, composed and at our best against Belgium, says Reid

Bhubaneswar, Dec 1 (IANS): While being at their best skills-wise in the quarter-final against Belgium in the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup, the Indian players also need to be as calm and composed during the match as they can be so that they don't allow their rivals many chances," coach Graham Reid admitted on Tuesday.

India were expected to meet Belgium in the semi-finals but a defeat to France in their opening match resulted in the defending champions finishing second in Pool B and thus are meeting the Red Lions in the last-eight stage. And against a team like Belgium, that has the ability to move the ball very quickly and defend deep, the Indians will have to avoid getting frustrated and making mistakes.

Reid said that making the young players keep patience is far more difficult than the senior players, whom he coached to a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympic Games a few months back.

"Patience doesn't come naturally to young boys. Kids of that age want things to happen. Trying to stay patient, move the ball around and be disciplined is something we try to instil in them. But it's a fine line, between disrupting the flow that is. When you see Belgium play, you see that patience because it has been ingrained in them while growing up," Reid said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

He said his boys will have to exploit the vulnerabilities in the Belgium team's game, just like Malaysia did during a preliminary round match and held them to a draw.

"You see the DNA comes down from the senior team, and the senior team is world no 1. But there are also some vulnerabilities that Malaysia had exploited and we will look to do the same. The team that can come out and play their natural game will be the winners," said Reid who admitted that the match would be a challenge for his players.

Asked whether his players will gain something from the fact that India defeated Belgium to win the Junior World Cup at Lucknow in 2016. "No one has in this game the memory of winning or losing but when you win, the memory stays. But it is a different team that beat Belgium that day in Lucknow, this is a different team," said Reid.

Asked whether the lack of local support as the match will be played without a full crowd in the Kalinga Stadium will impact the players, Reid said there will be some support for the Indians. "It was said that that some spectators will be allowed from the quarter-final stage. I don't know what happened to that. But if you have noticed that in all these matches there are the volunteers and boys from the academy here, coming to support the boys," said Reid.



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Title: Jr hockey world cup: We need to be calm, composed and at our best against Belgium, says Reid

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