Post holding the defending Champions Delhi Waveriders at 2-2 for a draw in their last game, Ranchi Rays is eagerly waiting in the wings to take on Dabang Mumbai in the next match of Hero Hockey India League slated to be played on 28 January 2015, at Astroturf Hockey Stadium, Ranchi. While Ranchi Rays will be looking at winning this game in order to share the top position with Jaypee Punjab Warriors in the points table, Dabang Mumbai will aspire to register their first triumph in the ongoing League.
Prior to this, the two teams have met once in this edition of Hockey India League where Barry Middleton’s brace had helped the guest team- Ranchi Rays to defeat Dabang Mumbai by 2-1 in Mumbai. Where Ranchi Rays will try to repeat their last performance against Dabang Mumbai, the latter will put in all efforts to ensure the same errors are not replicated and will seek to turn the tables in their favour.
With some celebrated players like Barry Middleton, Manpreet Singh and Birendra Lakra in its line-up, the Ashley Jackson-led Ranchi Rays have been performing brilliantly in the League till now. With 7 points to its name, the Rays are only behind Jaypee Punjab Warriors, who sits at the apex of the pool standings with 12 points, and will confidently step-on to their home turf on Wednesday with an aim of being the victor to gain another 5 points and come at par with the Warriors. The team is equipped with best of their attack and defence approach and will face Dabang Mumbai amidst the cheer of encouragement from the hockey fans at the stadium.
The new-fangled team of Dabang Mumbai, on the other hand, is thoroughly prepared for their next game and will bring into play their finest strengths and tactics to record their first win as well as keep the home team at bay. With players like the young Harmanpreet Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Tom Boon and Matthew Swann, Dabang Mumbai has one of the finest teams in the League and is geared up to deal with Ranchi Rays in their upcoming match. Equipped with much expertise and skilfulness, the players are ready to put up a stunning game of hockey for the spectators.
Remarking on the forthcoming match, Ranchi Rays Captain Ashley Jackson said, “We are in much better shape and very confident after seeing our performance in the last two matches. We are now more motivated after we made come back in the two back-to-back matches. For tomorrow’s match against Dabang Mumbai, we are well-prepared and ready for a good contest. We have recently faced them in Mumbai and after that win, our team is confident to give good competition to Dabang Mumbai. We defeated them in the previous encounter and we are looking forward to repeat the result.”
Commenting on the impending match, Ranchi Rays Coach Harendra Singh said, “We will stick to our aggressive strategies against Dabang Mumbai and will give our best to convert opportunities in goals. In the last match against Delhi Waveriders, we committed a few mistakes and we are rectifying those loopholes. Our boys are doing extremely well under the leadership of Ashley Jackson. They shown their ability to come back in any match and tomorrow they will play with full confidence. As we recently played against Dabang Mumbai in their city, we understand their game better but we are not taking the match lightly. We will play aggressively and to win the match.”
Speaking on the upcoming match, Dabang Mumbai player Tom Boon said, “We have taken learning from our last games and have been working to rectify them. I am sure the team will not repeat the slip-ups in the forthcoming games and will play better in times to come.”
Talking on the next game, Head Coach Dabang Mumbai Valentin Altenburg said, “Ranchi Rays is a strong team and in the next game against them we really have to get our defence together. For this, we as a team have worked on our defence line. Harmanpreet and Chinglensana have played really well in the last match and I look forward to similar performance from them in the coming game. I believe we can make a comeback in the next match.”
Ranchi Rays will take on Dabang Mumbai on 28 January 2015 at 1900 HRS IST, at Astroturf Hockey Stadium, Ranchi (Full Schedule here). The match will be telecast LIVE on Star Sports.