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Hockey ace Kirkham calls for commitment

August 2, 2012 16:52 pm

Great Britain midfielder Glenn Kirkham believes the players cannot afford to allow hesitancy to creep into their game if they are to strengthen their bid for a hockey semi-final place.

A 2-2 draw with South Africa - the lowest ranked team in the tournament - on Wednesday was notable for a lack of the aggressive attacking play which brought an opening 4-1 victory over Argentina in Pool A.

Kirkham called for the team to rediscover their commitment to their principles to avoid any more slip-ups.

"We perhaps played within ourselves and I don't think we were completely committed to the game in terms of committing to the attack and the defence," Kirkham told Press Association Sport.

"There was a little bit of hesitancy which made those half-chances not really good chances. It is difficult when you are looking at the outcome of the game as it is always about the result and there are outside pressures which put constraints on you sometimes.

"You are not always going to play your best hockey but we need to play with a little bit more commitment."

Coach Jason Lee admitted there was a collective comedown from their first match, when the players were perhaps given that little bit more of an edge by the adrenaline of an opening game at a home Olympics.

But they cannot afford any more mistakes as Friday's opponents Pakistan are behind them only on goal difference and world number ones Australia look like running away with the group having scored 11 goals in their two victories.

"There were no nerves or pressure before the first game and after winning that you want to push on from there," added Kirkham.

"There are some tough matches ahead, we knew that at the start. There have been dropped points from teams that you would not normally expect to, so we need to take it a game at a time and move on to the next."

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