HIL: Punjab Warriors seek first home win
Punjab Warriors would look to set the record straight when they take on league leaders Uttar Pradesh Wizards.
Jalandhar: Punjab Warriors would look to set the record straight when they take on league leaders Uttar Pradesh Wizards at the Surjit Singh Stadium for a second time in the Hockey India League here on Tuesday. The Warriors have managed to get their campaign on track with a domineering victory over Mumbai Magicians after having lost all their first three games, including a 2-1 result against the Wizards.
After that match Warriors' skipper Jamie Dwyer had expressed frustration about the team's inability to find the goals. However, the team responded with a lot of gumption in Mumbai and managed to score four times against the Magicians. Dwyer was himself among the scorers along with Dharamvir Singh and Ranjit Singh and they should take that confidence into the match against the Wizards, who, at this point, are riding high on confidence having won twice and drawn once.
The Wizards are only one of the two unbeaten teams in the tournament so far and have achieved this distinction on the back of a solid defensive display. Currently, Wizards lead the standings with 12 points from three encounters, while the Warriors are fourth with eight points. The one area of concern for the Wizards has been the form of their drag flick expert V R Raghunath, who hasn't had a good success ratio in penalty corner conversion. But the Warriors know how dangerous the India international can be and their defence would do well by not allowing the likes of Jeroen Hertzberger and Teun de Nooijer to help the team earn short corners at will.
Also the Warriors defence would have to provide a lot more support to their goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann, who had been outstanding in the tournament. The Warriors would also have a vociferous crowd support to build the tempo and Australian coach Barry Dancer would be hoping to see the team gelling a lot more in the mid field as they seek their maiden victory on the home ground.