3 Feb 2012

Some things for Black Sticks to work on

2:35 pm on 3 February 2012

The New Zealand women's hockey coach Mark Hager says he won't be changing his Olympic preparations too much following what he describes as a disappointing Champions Trophy tournament in Argentina.

The Black Sticks were eliminated from medal contention with a 3-0 loss to the number one ranked Dutch in Friday's quarter-finals.

Hager doesn't believe their Olympic aspirations have taken a hit because of their drop in form at the Champions Trophy.

But he does admit some aspects of their game have been exposed by the top sides, with speed at the back an issue. Other teams have exploited the mismatch in pace to hurt the Black Sticks on the counter.

A home series against Argentina in March beckons, then a Four Nations tournament in April, but the side is still looking for some opposition in May and June.

The Black Sticks will now play off for fifth to eighth at the Champions Trophy.