England men’s hockey head coach Bobby Crutchley admits there is still plenty of work to do ahead of the Champions Trophy after his Great Britain side lost a two-match series to Spain.
Crutchley had the same squad at his disposal that will make up the England squad for the upcoming Champions Trophy – plus Ollie Willars and Scotland’s Chris Grassick – but couldn’t overcome Spain in two clashes.
The first game was settled thanks to a Marc Salles 47th-minute penalty stroke, while the second saw Spain win 4-1.
Ashley Jackson bagged a 59th-minute penalty corner but at that point Great Britain were already four goals down as Willars’ 50th combined England and Great Britain cap turned out to be a day to forget.
In the first game Iain Lewers had brought up his 100th combined cap but there was little else to celebrate with Crutchley insisting his side looked rusty with the clock ticking down to December 6 and the start of the Champions Trophy.
“We looked a bit rusty and although there were some good moments, there were too many occasions we were poor in key areas,” Crutchley said.
“We made too many defensive errors and simply weren’t clinical enough in their circle. It’s been a frustrating couple of games and a few players looked off the pace but we will be able to take some positives from the trip.
“It’s been a good exercise in getting back to playing international hockey against a tough opponent. It’s shown us the standards we need to set and the levels we need to reach when we go to the Champions Trophy as England.”
© Sportsbeat 2014