Hockey: Couzins calls for greater effort

Black Sticks captain Dean Couzins is calling for his side to channel their frustrations into an all-out assault on England at the Champions Trophy tomorrow.

The match in Melbourne is New Zealand's final game of pool play and the result will dictate who they meet in the quarter-finals.

Last night's 4-2 loss to India left the Black Sticks at the bottom of Pool A.

"We're frustrated and disappointed with how we played and that's still biting more today than last night. We feel that as a team we can play better than what we are," Couzins said.

"The word 'patches' probably sums us up a little bit, unfortunately. We have been playing some good stuff at times but not for long enough periods. Part of that is the quality of opposition you play but you can control that a bit by what you're doing and that's where the frustration comes in."

New Zealand have a new head coach in Colin Batch, three players making their debut, and several other new players to the squad, but Couzins is confident the team can find another level.

"I think the new guys have gone well. Alex [Shaw] is playing a lot of minutes at the back and doing some really good stuff. Devon [Manchester] debuted last night and I thought he played well. All the new guys have done a really good job and they're being well supported by the coaching staff and other players so it's good to see."

Black Sticks forward Stephen Jenness has been cleared of a hand fracture after suffering an injury in the India match.


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