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'We've got a bit of work to do' – Black Sticks’ former coach reacts to humbling return against NZ

Former Black Sticks women's coach Mark Hager could only reflect on his new Great Britain side's FIH Pro League defeat in Christchurch last night, crushed 5-1 by New Zealand.

Having left his long-held post as Black Sticks women's coach last month, Hager's first outing as coach of Great Britian couldn't have gone any worse.

Speaking to 1 NEWS after the loss, Hager said that his short time in charge of Great Britian shouldn't take anything away from the performance of the Black Sticks.

"Shaun's [Dancer] done a good job," Hager began.

"They've had two games, so they're a bit more match hardened than us. The girls have come off a winter, but that's no excuse - we just didn't play well.

"We gave them a little too much room through the middle of the field, and they had a little bit of luck on a couple of the goals, but you make your own luck as well. In the end, we've got a bit of work to do."

Hager also says that despite having spent just four days in charge of Great Britian, he was so far loving his new experience.

"They're a great bunch of girls, I've really enjoyed it, they've made me feel very welcome.

"Now we've just got to get used to each other, and get our systems in place, and make sure that we're better next Saturday when we play Aussie.

"We need to close up our defence a little bit and be a bit tougher in that area."

Hager finally said that he won't be looking to change his style, after claims of bullying and poor team culture ended his tenure with the Black Sticks women.

"I've got to be me. In the end, [I've] got to coach with passion."

Mark Hager's first match with Great Britain saw his former team triumph 5-1. Source: 1 NEWS


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