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Walton: GB eyeing hockey victory

August 5, 2012 13:35 pm

Defender Sally Walton insists Great Britain's hockey team head into their crucial final group encounter with defending Olympic champions Holland intent on winning.

Victory over the world number ones on Monday evening would guarantee a semi-final place but a draw could be enough depending on the outcome of China's game earlier in the day against Pool A's bottom side Japan.

Qualification would have been secured had Britain not lost 2-1 to the Chinese on Saturday but Walton said playing for a draw was not in their mentality.

She said: "We go out in every game to win and there is no embattled thinking of 'We only need a point'. I think China upped their game and it was one of those matches where we weren't firing on all cylinders and they sat deep and caught us on the counter.

"But we always play 100% and I don't think we approached it any differently. We need to go back to basics and get ourselves geed up for this next game.

"We know we are able to beat the Dutch and we want to go out in our next game and put this right."

GB women have won just seven of 36 encounters against Holland, although they have lost only two of their seven meetings in the last 12 years. The sides drew 2-2 in January as GB went on to win a silver medal at the Champions Trophy in Argentina.

Holland have a 100% record from their four matches but have rarely played well enough to live up to their reputation.

Walton said it was irrelevant what the Dutch had done previously and they paid little attention to their results. "The thing about tournament hockey is you just have to scrape wins and get through," added the 31-year-old. "The fact they haven't been firing on all cylinders means nothing to us."

She went on to say: "Our mental focus is always that we concentrate on what we can do and we don't leave anything to chance with other teams and not worry about what they do."

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