Bhubaneswar: Kalinga Lancers will have revenge on their minds as they lock horns with Uttar Pradesh Wizards in a league match of the Hockey India League (HIL) on Saturday.
The Lancers suffered a disheartening 1-5 defeat against Uttar Pradesh Wizards in their previous encounter at Lucknow and the hosts are practicing various strategies to put-up a stimulating performance on their home turf.
Jude Felix, Coach, Kalinga Lancers said: "Yesterday's performance was very disappointing for the team but we are not demoralised. We still have the best players and young talents, who have ability to win any match. Boys have the confidence and now we have understood our opponents' game, so we are looking forward to a good competition in tomorrow's match."
Uttar Pradesh are upbeat after their one-sided win against Kalinga. The Wizards had scored four goals in the last eight minutes and earned five crucial points to push the Lancers to third position.
Their players are riding high on confidence after getting back their lost form and will go all out to maintain their winning spree on Saturday.
With the Dutch player Wouter Jolie and penalty corner specialist VR Raghunath as defenders, the Lucknow-based team will utilise all their big guns such as Jeroen Hertzberger of Netherlands and SK Uthappa in the forward line.
Dutch players Bob De Voogd and Alexander Baart along with Australian Eddie Ockenden will be mending the midfield, while Kalinga will have to find a way to get past world-class goal-keeper PR Sreejesh.
Roelant Oltmans, coach of Uttar Pradesh Wizards said, "The rotation of captain in each game is working positively in our team. We won the last match under our new captain Wouter Jolie with a huge margin and we will try something different in tomorrow's match as well.
"We will stick to our strategy of using new players and changing formations during the match tomorrow. Though this is an away match, our boys are confident of showcasing their best skills against Kalinga Lancers tomorrow."
The Lancers too have plenty of talented players in their squad, including Australia's Russel Ford and Lalit Upadhyay in the forward line, Ryan Archibald of New Zealand and skipper Vickram Kanth in midfield along with Argentinean Gonzalo Peillat and Gurjinder Singh in the defence line.
The Lancers will have to stick to their strategy of aggressive attacks from the first whistle and maintain pressure on the opponents.
"We committed silly mistakes in the defence line. We focussed more on the midfield and lost our ground in the fourth quarter. We are working on those mistakes and will try not to repeat those. Tomorrow is new match at our own turf in front of our fans. We are confident that we will deliver better results this time," said Kalinga skipper Vickram Kanth.
Uttar Pradesh Wizards player Wouter Jolie said, "After yesterday's win, our team is now in a good shape and we will take this form forward. Four goals in last eight minutes is really a motivating factor for us and we will continue with our aggressive game-plan.
Our team is now better composed and combinations are working well. There is still room for improvement and we will work on new things in tomorrow's match. We are looking forward to face Kalinga Lancers again."