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England tougher than Spain: Graham Reid

Updated on: 15 January,2023 08:06 AM IST  |  Rourkela

India’s head coach wary of higher-ranked opponent ahead of today’s clash

England tougher than Spain: Graham Reid

Captain Harmanpreet Singh (left) and Hardik Singh share a light moment during India’s training session at Rourkela, Odisha, on Saturday. Pic/PTI

England will be tougher opponents than Spain whom India outclassed 2-0 in their opening World Cup match and the home team cannot lower its guard in the second group match on Sunday, head coach Graham Reid said.

Local hero Amit Rohidas and midfielder Hardik Singh scored in India’s dominant win against Spain on Friday. A win against England, ranked fifth in the world, on Sunday will help India put one foot in the quarter-finals as they can fancy their chances of beating Wales in their final Pool D match.

Graham ReidGraham Reid

India are ranked sixth in the world, while Wales are 15th. 

“We are up against England next and it will be tougher, they are ranked higher than us. We know how tough England are in the Commonwealth Games,” Reid said.

Last year, the two sides faced each other three times with their last match played at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, ending 4-4 in the group stage. They played out a 3-3 draw in the first leg of the Pro League match before India won 4-3 in the second, both games played in April. “So, we will try to continue our good work [from the Spain match]. We did really well defensively [against Spain], we have to continue it,” Reid added.

Captain Harmanpreet Singh agreed that England would be tough opponents and the home side will have to play their best hockey to beat them.

“We are taking it match by match. Spain are done now and our focus is on England and we are planning for that,” he said. 

“Winning penalty corners is very important and we can be better in PC conversion. We are hoping we will do better in that regard,” said the drag-flicker who was not at his best in the match against Spain.

Also Read: Hockey World Cup 2023: Australia register dominant 8-0 win over France

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