India will face New Zealand in the crossover match of the FIH Men's World Cup on Sunday. Both teams will aim to win in order to qualify for the quarterfinals. Ahead of the knock-out game, home side head coach Graham Reid said the kiwis have nothing to lose and it will be the men in blue who will be under pressure.
"New Zealand have nothing to lose from their point of view and pressure will be on us. I hope our team will stand up and as I said earlier if we play our best we can beat any team in the world," Reid said at the match eve press conference here.
"As an Australian myself, I know that New Zealand are always tough and we (India) have total respect for them. I am also confident that we will do our job (and win)," he added.
India are coming into Sunday's match after a below-par 4-2 win over tournament debutants Wales, forcing them to play in the crossovers instead of direct quarterfinals, which they would have played had they topped Pool D.
India have been waiting for the World Cup trophy for 47 years. India last won the Hockey World Cup trophy in 1975 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After this, the Indian team never got a chance to lift any trophy in this global event. Team India won the World Cup last time by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan.
India beat New Zealand twice just a few months ago at the Kalinga Stadium in the Pro League matches and Reid is hoping that the same result will continue.
"We had beaten them twice then. Moreover, our defensive unit is more settled (and better) now than at that time. So, we are looking forward to the match."
Lack of finishing has been one of the main issues for India in the three pool matches. Asked about that, Reid said, "I agree that we are lacking in finishing the opportunities we have created. But I would have been more worried had we not created opportunities. I am confident that we will be better in that aspect also."
He said it was disappointing that injured midfielder Hardik Singh was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament as he could not recover.
"But it is exciting for Raj Kumar Pal (reserve player) to come in for Hardik. He (Pal) is one of our players for the future. He is in good form. He has silky skills and has worked a lot in defence.
"Fresh legs are always important in the middle of the tournament. So, disappointing for Hardik to miss out but we have enough talent to fill up."