Clarke: We'll maintain focus
August 7, 2012 09:39 am
Great Britain forward Jonty Clarke believes the men's hockey team have learned their lesson about coping with the highs of being tournament hosts.
Sunday's late comeback from 3-0 down to draw against world number ones and tournament favourites Australia felt like a victory as they were roared on by a fervent 16,000-strong crowd.
But Clarke said memories of a disappointing 2-2 draw with South Africa, immediately on the back of a comfortable 4-1 opening win over Argentina, meant they will be better prepared to face Spain on Tuesday evening when a draw will put them in the semi-finals.
"We have to get ourselves refocused for the last game because we have a job to do," he told Press Association Sport. "And the Australia result will mean nothing if we mess up the next one.
"Hopefully we have learned from going into game two from game one when we came off a big high and were guilty of not being quite at the races. We have to get ourselves ready and be bang up for it against Spain."
GB cannot afford to be off the pace again as the game against the Kookaburras was the second time in the group they had snatched a draw.
However, Clarke feels what they displayed in their rousing second-half comeback highlighted the qualities the squad have.
"It is a shame it took them getting 3-0 up to spark us into action really," he added. "I thought we played really well and started to execute our game plan and it showed even though they are the number one side in the world they are fallible and we can take a lot of confidence from that.
"We have faith in ourselves. We are fighters and we know that. To be 3-0 down is a tough ask against anyone but what you know against Australia is that they just keep going.
"It goes one of two ways: either they just keep going away from you or you get back in the game. Thankfully we got ourselves composed and started to punch our weight and it got us back in the game."
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