LEACH; WE CAN BE BETTER

Great Britain U18 assistant coach Simon Leach says the team are disappointed after losing their opening game but have the character to bounce back for the rest of the week.

“It’s always tough when you lose the first game of a tournament. We knew going in how important this game was and wanting to get off to a good start, particularly going against the top seeds.

“Losing the goal so early put us on the back foot but we regrouped and outchanced them and outshot them overall. However we weren’t clinical enough and at the other end we were punished for our mistakes by a Lithuania goal.

“We said to the players afterwards that little errors can make big differences at this level of hockey. Sometimes we fell short and didn’t stick to our strengths and we paid the full price.”

A key moment around the midpoint of the game saw a GB goal chalked off, another not awarded and a Lithuania goal given in controversial circumstances.

“Yes things like that can change games,” said Leach. “But overall we’re disappointed as a group, we know we can do better in our own game and not worry about things we can’t control.

“It’s about how we as a team react to this loss, we don’t have time to sit and feel sorry – the game has gone, we move on.

“We play the early game tomorrow so we can’t dwell on this game, it’s all eyes on Croatia starting with our morning skate.

“The coaches will also look at the video of tonight to see where we can change and improve. We have confidence in the players, we come back tomorrow it’s a new day and we fight on.”

Great Britain play Croatia in the first game on day two – face off on Tuesday is 1.30pm local time, 11.30am UK time. The game is being streamed live on the IIHF website via http://www.iihf.com/competition/549/live-stream/