Water polo coach hails 'half miracle'

05 August 2012 / 07:25

The Great Britain men's water polo team have not failed, despite losing their opening four Olympic matches, according to their coach.

Team GB went down 17-6 defeat against Hungary but head coach Cristian Iordache said a "half miracle" had been achieved in the past three years.

"There is no way that we failed in this tournament," he told Press Association Sport.

"We were fighting until the end, and this is the youngest team, probably, in the world.

"And against all the other teams, despite the scores, they showed that in Great Britain, if not a full miracle, a half miracle has been done in the past two and a half, three years.

"They are stepping up fantastically."

Captain Craig Figes, 33, from Bristol said Hungary are a better side.

"They are a class outfit, with world-class players," he said. "They've had a poor start [in this tournament], I think they'd admit that, and tonight they wanted to prove a point.

"I think they caught us probably not on our best performance. We've played better in a couple of the other matches. We made a few silly errors at bad times and they punished us.

"But once again we showed a lot of spirit and fought back. The Hungarian players have won everything in the game, so for us to be able to play a little bit against them and make them work, was good."

Asked how the team will approach their final game against Montenegro, Figes said: "It doesn't matter to us whether it's our fifth game or our first game.

"We're here because we want to work as hard as possible to bridge the gap to the top nations, so every game we're going to give 100%."

Centre forward Jack Waller, 22, from Enfield, said playing four games in the last eight days has taken its toll on the team.

"It was hard work," he said. "They are Olympic champions. They've been there, done that, three or four times before.

"It was a good experience, but it's a long old tournament and you can feel that everyone's tired.

"I think fitness showed, because they are renowned for countering teams, and we needed to get behind it more.

"It's more fatigue than fitness. Everyone's fit, everyone's done nine months with a club and a couple of months together.

"Obviously they've played big tournaments before, where you have five games in eight days, so it's just recovering from that."