London 2012

Smith stays confident

Defender hopeful of final spot

Last Updated: 09/08/12 8:27am

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Richard Smith: Confident of beating Holland

Richard Smith: Confident of beating Holland

Richard Smith is confident Team GB can match Holland in the attacking stakes as they bid to make their first final since winning gold in 1988.

And they are hoping to go one better than Britain's women who agonisingly lost 2-1 to Argentina in their semi-final on Wednesday.

Their Dutch opponents won all five pool games, scoring 18 times, and are second-favourites behind world No.1s Australia.

By contrast GB scraped a controversial draw against Spain, their second of the group stage, to qualify but Smith believes they have only shown flashes of their best play.

He expects the encounter to be an open one and believes they have enough in their armoury to take on the Dutch and win.

"They are a very talented team of good players and they seemed to do very well in the other pool, there was such a nice flow to the game and they've looked pretty comfortable on the ball," the defender said.

"Hopefully we can play at an intensity which makes it hard for them to play like that and then counter-attack their play with our own good attacking hockey.

Chess

"Hopefully it will be a nice open game and we'll see who can end the best - I don't think it will be too much of a chess game but possibly more so than a few years ago."

A couple of times in the tournament GB's level of performance has dropped off and Smith knows they will have to be at their sharpest if they are to progress.

"When we won the European Championships in 2009 as England (beating Holland in the semi-final) our clinical nature was the difference and maybe that has been missing the last couple of years," he added.

"We have been better than we have been for quite a while in that 'clinicalness' and it will be down to who is best on the day.

"We haven't felt we've had a huge amount of luck, apart from perhaps the South Africa game (where they secured a draw after South Africa took a late lead) but before the Spain game we had only conceded five corners.

"We have probably used up all our luck against Spain so we have to start again."

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