Sat, 30 Sep 2023

LONDON, June 2 (Xinhua) -- Chinese women's hockey team lost to Britain 4-3 on Friday, suffering three defeats in a row in London in the FIH Pro League, but head coach Alyson Annan is still confident that the team is "more than good enough" to win the gold at this year's Asian Games.

Last week, China was edged by Olympic bronze medallists Britain 1-0 before losing to Belgium 3-1. They will play against Belgium again on Saturday, then travel to the Netherlands for more matches in the Pro League.

"I think we are good enough to beat these teams," said Annan, who took over the Chinese team last May. "I believe that and they have to believe themselves as well.

"One of the things that we are working on is a little bit of consistency and that's lacking in our games at this point," added the 49-year-old Australian who led the Dutch women's team to clinch the Olympic title at the Tokyo Games.

"We are playing some very, very good hockey, but we are also playing some very poor hockey. If we can get our games a little bit more consistent, I think that we are going to be a very, very good team."

But Annan also admitted that "being consistently good is an incredible challenge. "We don't have to be great. We have to be consistently good. And being consistently good is asking them to know what they are good at, and they have to do that continually."

Meanwhile, Annan is challenging the Chinese players with new things. "That could be the reason why we are not as sharp as we could be, but we need to be sharp in October."

From September 23 to October 8, the 19th Asian Games will be held in Hangzhou, China. "We're not going there for second or third place. We're going there to win, and we're going there to qualify the Olympic Games. I think that we are more than good enough to do so," said Annan.

China took three consecutive victories at the Asian Games from 2002 to 2010. The team then lost to the hosts South Korea in the final at the 2014 Asian Games and failed to reach the final four year later as they were defeated by eventual winners India in the semifinals.

"We have a long, long way to go to get consistently good. But fortunately we have a long time between now and the Asian Games to sort off those stuff," said Annan.

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