‘I Take Responsibility for…’: India Head Coach Graham Reid Explains Why Men In Blue Failed in Hockey World Cup 2023 | Other Sports News

Team India thrashed Japan in the Classification match for the places 9 to 16 on Thursday, January 26, but this much-needed performance came a little too late. India beat Japan 8-0 at Rourkela, a performance that was needed in the last Pool match vs Wales, where India needed to beat them by the exact margin to make it to quarter-finals of the tournament. India then displayed shocking hockey in the last minutes of the Crossover match vs New Zealand, losing them in the penalty shootouts and with that their hopes of winning the second-only World Cup were diminished.

Also Read | Highlights | India Vs Japan Classification Match, Men’s FIH Hockey World Cup 2023: India register biggest win World Cup, beat Japan 8-0

What happened? What was the reason of this below-par performance from Team India, who won their first-ever medal in Olympics in 41 years, in the World Cup? Head coach Graham Reid feels it is the mental factor. He spoke about the lack of a mental conditioning coach in Indian camp at the post-match press conference, adding that he felt they would be alright without one. 

“Having seen this World Cup and being in a home World Cup, does bring extra pressure. Sometimes that’s difficult to process. So, that was my thought process,” Reid said at the post-match press conference. “It (requirement of a mental conditioning coach) has come up (for discussion) before but I did not really think it was needed at that point. I thought, I had enough experience to be able to impart the sort of stuff we have been talking about.”    

Reid took responsibility for not pushing for a mental conditioning coach. Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey said that he is ready to give one to Team India.

“We had COVID-19 and it was difficult to get over all those happenings. Then, the Asian Games was coming up (was to happen in 2022) and then was not coming (postponed), it was always like when do we start that process (of having a mental conditioning coach) and then it did not happen.

“I take responsibility for that (for not having a mental conditioning coach).”

India play South Africa next in the Hockey World Cup which will be their last match of the tournament. This match will be forthe 9-12th finish in the tournament. If India win, they can finish at 9th or 10th place.

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