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Defiant Danson determined to bounce back

GB Sing the national anthem

Great Britain head into their final game of the Women’s World League Final on Saturday determined to bounce back from their quarter final disappointment against New Zealand. Having claimed a superb victory over Australia in the final pool game, confidence was high going into the quarter final clash with the Blacksticks but thanks to a late, late goal from Olivia Merry, Danny Kerry’s side saw their medal hopes dashed in one of the cruellest ways possible.

Whilst the disappointment was palpable, this is squad not accustomed to rolling over or playing the victim. The noises post-match from the camp were positive and defiant. Exactly the response Kerry would want from his charges.

“We’re hugely disappointed.” said striker Alex Danson. “But we are a team going forward. We’ve built momentum in this tournament and we are a strong, large squad, a strong outfit. We’ll rebuild and go into the next game strong. You’ll see the GB team at its best. You’ll see us in the pockets going forwards. You’ll see how exciting we are through midfield and how strong we are at the back and we’ll get some goals in the net.”

Danson looked determined and in no mood for a meek surrender, but in truth those words could have come from any of the squad, such is the culture Great Britain have cultivated this past couple of years.

Kerry’s message was one of learning the lessons and coming back stronger for next time:

“We need players to be here and go through these experiences. There are some players at home who also need to be here to get the experiences for Rio. It’s all very well making excuses but international hockey is tough. The players now understand a little bit more about what this level is like. The younger players now get the tempo of the game and the heat of the quarter final format. They will probably play with a bit more nous and we won't let games get away from us."

The great thing about tournament hockey is that the chance to atone for previous games arrives very quickly. With Kerry’s side keen to show their strength of character and to bounce back the Korea game- the first of the day’s scheduling, can’t come soon enough.

The Koreans have endured a tough tournament themselves. Winless in the pool stages with just a draw against Germany to show for their efforts they were dumped out of the quarter finals by an unusually adventurous China side 3-1.

The last time these two sides clashed was at the Olympics in 2012 when Great Britain ran out 5-3 winners. Goals from Nicola White, Crista Cullen, Alex Danson, Georgie Twigg and Chloe Rogers were enough to secure the victory. Great Britain will be hoping for similar heroics tomorrow as they aim to finish the tournament on a high.

Watch all the action live on BT Sport from 14:30 UK time.

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