Olympics: Doncaster’s Barry Middleton demands better for hockey bronze

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GREAT Britain men’s hockey captain Barry Middleton must rally his team-mates ahead of today’s bronze medal match with Australia at the Riverbank Arena.

Middleton, from Doncaster, was in shock after Thursday night’s 9-2 hammering by the Netherlands, which ended home hopes of playing Germany in the final. Both he and Sheffield’s Alastair Wilson have played a major role in Team GB’s run to the last four.

Victories against Argentina and Pakistan and draws with South Africa, Australia and Spain set up their clash with the unbeaten Dutch, but it all went badly wrong as a 4-1 half time deficit was turned into a rout during a humiliating second half for the British.

Middleton said it was a combination of excellence from their opponents and his team freezing on the big stage: “Credit to the Dutch, they played a good game, they just generally passed, shot, tackled and ran better than us.

“There are not that many games when a team does every aspect better than you.

“The disappointing thing was we know that wasn’t who we are. That wasn’t really us. It is hard to explain why. With how big the game was that is what makes it so hard to take.

“The reason behind it was that we didn’t turn up.”