Punjab Warriors seek first home win

Last Updated: Mon, Jan 21, 2013 12:00 hrs

Jalandhar, Jan 21 (IANS) Jaypee Punjab Warriors would look to set the record straight when they take on table leaders Uttar Pradesh Wizards at the Surjit Singh Hockey Stadium for a second time in the Hockey India League (HIL) here Tuesday.

The Warriors have managed to get their campaign on track with a domineering victory over Mumbai Magicians after having lost all their first three games, including a 1-2 loss against the Wizards.

Warriors' skipper Jamie Dwyer has expressed frustration about the team's inability to find goals when needed. The team responded with a lot of gumption in Mumbai and managed to put four goals past the Magicians' custodian. Dwyer was among the goal scorers along with Dharamvir Singh and Ranjit Singh.

The Wizards at this point are riding high on confidence having won two and drawn their third. They are only one of the two unbeaten teams so far and have achieved this distinction on the back of solid defensive display.

Currently Wizards lead the standings with 12 points from three encounters while Warriors are fourth with eight points in the five-team league.

The form of drag flicker V.R. Raghunath has also been an area of concern for the Wizards as he has not had a good success ratio in penalty corner conversions.

The Warriors' defence would have to provide lot more support to their goalkeeper Jaap Stockmann, who has been outstanding.

Commenting Tuesday's game coach of Jaypee Punjab Warriors Barry Dancer said: "From now on, every match is going to be crucial for us in order to make it to the semi-finals. I am very pleased with the performance of the team in the last game against Mumbai. We look forward to the game against Uttar Pradesh Wizards, who have done pretty well so far."

Roelant Oltmans, coach of the Wizards, said: "Post our win yesterday the teams' morale is really high and we would like to maintain this for our next game as well. The warriors are a tough side but we are ready to put up a fight and gain momentum in the matches to come."

Tuesday's game starts at 8 p.m.

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