Great Britain’s men will not underestimate the task they face in taking on the Netherlands tomorrow night in their first Olympic semi-final since winning gold in 1988.
The Dutch are ranked one place above them - third in the world – and had a superb record in coming through their group with five straight wins.
What both teams have in common is a familiarity with each other that suggests there will be no secrets. Barry Middleton, the British captain said: “We’ve got one over them and they’ve beaten us too,” he said. “They play good, open hockey and will attack and we’ll play the same. So it will be a good, open game again.”
Britain have drawn three of their five games to date, but Middleton’s East Grinstead club-mate Ashley Jackson, regularly introduced to the Riverbank Arena crowd as Britain’s “poster boy”, who has scored five goals in as many games, says those close encounters may help them tonight: “Hopefully the tough games we’ve had here will put us in good stead. The Dutch have had a great tournament and we know it’s going to be a tough game.”