The Indian men’s hockey team were stunned in a must-win crossover tie by New Zealand at the World Cup in Odisha on Sunday. The visitors won 5-4 in the penalty shoot-out after each side scored three goals at the end of regulation time. The defeat saw India crash out of the tournament as New Zealand progressed to the knockout stage, where they would face Australia in the quarter-finals.
Reflecting on the loss, Indian coach Graham Reid said the team needed a mental conditioning coach. The hosts had a two-goal cushion, which they squandered on two occasions, before New Zealand came from behind to equalize in the final quarter.
“We probably need to do something different,” Reid said in the post-match conference.
“As far as practices or training, we do what all the other teams do. I’ve been in the game for a long time and I know what other teams are doing. If anything, Silver Shoot, I think it’s mental.”
Reid added that the team now needs to go back to the drawing board and iron out the mistakes. “Tonight, we lacked consistency. For example, in the last quarter, we let ourselves down. We threw the ball away, kept doing things like that, things like that. Made it very difficult for himself.
“Every team faces some issues at some stage like changing the reach of the circle. We need to go back to the drawing board after a while,” he said.
“It’s very difficult to answer questions after a loss like that. It’s a lack of skill at the end of the day, we need to work on that.”
India Hockey World Cup (T) Graham Reid (T) India Hockey Mental Conditioning Coach 2023