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Crutchley hopeful Jackson can make injury recovery

June 3, 2014 07:30 am

England men's coach Bobby Crutchley is hopeful Ashley Jackson can win his fitness battle in time for his side's next hockey World Cup clash with Malaysia.

The former world young player of the year struggled as Crutchley's team secured a dramatic 2-1 win over India, courtesy of Simon Mantell's winner two minutes from time, after Mark Gleghorne's 27th-minute opener had been quickly equalised by Dharamvir Singh.

But Crutchley is keen to nurse his star man back to fitness, especially with tough group games against in-form Australia and Belgium to follow this week.

“Ashley’s got a problem with his shoulder. As you can see he’s not flicking the ball. The one he did flick caused some pain," he admitted.

"Hopefully with two more days off, Ashley can recover in time for the Malaysia game.”

Meanwhile, England captain Barry Middleton believes the fighting spirit his team showed against India bodes well ahead of the tougher challenges to come.

"We battled hard and even when we don’t play at our best we want to be hard to beat and able to grind out results," he said. 

"That’s how you get through tournaments and we’ve shown that today. We rode our luck at times but we fought to the end.

“For a team who’s quite young and still growing in world hockey we showed a lot of control and composure to score a goal late on and then see the game out.”

© Sportsbeat 2014