Australia hockey coach Colin Batch
Australia hockey coach Colin Batch

Hockey WC: Defending champs Australia not taking Ireland lightly

ANI | Updated: Nov 28, 2018 20:32 IST

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], Nov 28 (ANI): Three-time world champions Australia are all set to take on Ireland in their opening clash of the ongoing 14th edition of the Men's Hockey World Cup here on Friday. Coach Colin Batch, however, warned his side against taking the Irish team lightly in the match.
He said that any team participating in the tournament is capable of creating an upset. "Any team can cause an upset in the tournament. Ireland will be a very competitive and difficult opponent. We cannot take them lightly. Consistency has been the key to Australia's success. We hopefully have brought that consistency with us to India as well," Batch said.
The Australian coach, while expressing his views about the Indian team, said that the hosts are one of the best Indian sides they have met so far. "Everybody in the hockey world respects them," he added.
"We met India at the Champion's Trophy and they've been the best Indian team we've played for quite some time now. This is one of the best Indian sides so far. There will definitely be pressure on them as they are the host nation. But everybody in the world hockey respects them today," he said.
After facing Ireland in their first match, Australia will take on England in their second Pool B match. The coach admitted that while taking on the English side, they would need to change the playing tactics as they are being coached by a six-time Olympian.
"We would need a change of tactics when playing England, especially with a six-time Olympian as their coach. We can't take the team lightly even if the team is composed of young players," he said.
Australia and Ireland will take on each other in their opening match of the prestigious tournament on November 30 at Bhubaneswar. (ANI)