Coach Stacy upbeat about Mumbai’s turnaround in HIL

Mumbai, Jan 28 (IANS) Dabang Mumbai head coach Jay Stacy is confident of his team bouncing back from two consecutive defeats when they face Delhi Waveriders in the Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) here on Friday.

Mumbai suffered defeats against Kalinga Lancers and Jaypee Punjab Warriors away and will play their first home match at the Mahindra Hockey Stadium against 2014 champions Waveriders.

Stacy said that his team is working hard and hopes of “turning fortunes shortly”.

“We have been working hard. We have made some very good progress. Unfortunately, we were not able to convert the chances we created in the two matches. Overall, I feel the group is getting stronger and I am sure our fortunes will turn around shortly,” Stacy told IANS ahead of the match.

“We are very much looking play in front of our home crowd. The whole playing group is very positive and looking forward next three home matches at home. We have been studying the opposition.”

The 47-year-old, who played for Australia in four Olympics, reckoned that once Nikkin Thimmaiah gains full momentum after the recent shoulder surgery, his attack line will be better. Apart from Nikkin, German Florian Fuchs, Sweden’s Johan Bjorkman and Affan Yousuf will have the responsibility of scoring.

“The players we have on our roster at the moment are good enough to create a lot of chances and trouble the opponents,” Stacy insisted, ruling out the suggestion that the pull out of Australian Kieran Govers due to injury left his attack short on experience.

“We need to make sure that we convert the chances,” he added.

Stacy’s attackers will face a challenge in breaching the defence line comprising Tristian White, Rupinder Pal Singh, Vickram Kanth and Iain Lewers.

Mumbai will have Nilakanta Sharma, Danish Mujtaba, Vikas Sharma, Tyron Pereira, Manpreet and Dylan Wotherspoon in the midfield.

Stacy said his team is watching the past videos of Delhi, who lost to Ranchi Rays away in their last match.

The defence line of Jeremy Hayward, Gurmail Singh Diwakar Ram and Matthew Swann will be up against the young and talented Delhi’s attackers — Mandeep Singh, Talwinder Singh, Yuvraj Walmiki and Steve Edwards.

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