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We were 'switched off': England captain

Source: PTI
March 08, 2010 19:50 IST
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After being blanked by Spain in Monday's match, England captain Barry Middleton said his team did not play to its potential as they were already assured of a semi-final place in the hockey World Cup.

"We expected Spain would come hard on us but somehow we did not play well today. May be we were switched off or a bit relaxed. It was disappointing we would have wanted to go to the semifinal with an all win record," he said after his side lost 0-2 to Spain in their last Pool B match.

Middleton, however, said his side, through to last-four stage with 12 points, was not concerned of their opponents in the semifinal on March 11.

"We are not concerned of which side we will face in the semi-final. It is the same, all the sides in this World Cup are all good sides," he added.

Asked whether the absence of playmaker Richard Mantell, due to injury, affected his side's performance, he said, "No doubt, Richard is one of the best distributors of the ball in the world. But we have very good players who can come in his place. It is not about Richard's absence but about not playing well today."

"We tried hard to get the goals and come back into the match but could not. Credit to Spain they played a very good game," Middleton added. With the win Spain are third in Pool B and captain Pol Amat said they are aiming to finish fifth and qualify for this year's Champions Trophy in Germany.

"It is a disappointment that we could not reach the semi-final but at least we can now qualify for the Champions Trophy. Our target now is to win the fifth-sixth position play-off and qualify for the Champions Trophy," said Amat.

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