New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) Delhi Waveriders and debutants Kalinga Lancers will be looking to bounce back from defeats when they face off in the Hockey India League (HIL) at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here Thursday.
For Waveriders it will be the first match and they are geared up for a good show in front of their home fans.
Though Daredevils, who have a win and loss each from two matches, are sitting comfortably in the second place, they have to be wary for a backlash from Kalinga Lancers, who are coached India’s chief coach Terry Walsh.
On Tuesday night, Lancers suffered a record 3-7 loss to Jaypee Punjab Warriors in their maiden match. It was the biggest margin so far in the league.
Daredevils are also looking to bounce back from their loss against Ranchi Rhinos in their last match. Waveriders were in firm control of the match but conceded a late goal in the 63rd minute.
Delhi Waveriders head coach Cedric D’Souza said every match has its own pressures whether it is at home or away and the importance is performance.
“We need to implement our strategies and come back firing after our loss to Ranchi Rhinos in our last match. While the Kalinga Lancers are a completely new team, this team even as five new foreign players and four Indian players hence we cannot say that we have the edge of experience as compared to Lancers,” said Cedric, former India coach.
Skipper Sardar Singh said the pressure of playing in front of home crowd will not affect the team.
“This team has an advantage of experience as many players played with the League last year and this in a way will create some difference. We will stick to the strategy and play as a team and will not allow the pressure of playing in front of home crowd seep in,” he said.
Lancers skipper Prabodh Tirkey reposed his faith on the young team and assured that they won’t let down the fans again.
“This is a young team but against Delhi Waveriders but we are confident that our performance will not let our fans down this time. The entire team is disappointed the way we played yesterday against the Jaypee Punjab Warriors,” he said.
Tirkey underlined the importance of co-ordination.
“I think since we were playing together for the first time, hence we lacked the required coordination. For the upcoming matches we are working on our passes, defence, attack and sticking to basics as these will be the key for us to go ahead in the tournament,” he said.
Walsh said Lancers played poorly played in the first half of the last match Tuesday.
“The defence was the main loophole which in a way costed us the match. The boys have to grow and play better in the upcoming matches. Tomorrow will be a combination of attack and defence and we hope to win the match tomorrow,” he said.