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Magicians to try their tricks on Wizards

Wednesday, 29 January 2014 - 9:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

One would've lost count of the number of times the word 'teamwork' was used by the coach and captain of the Mumbai Magicians ahead of their first home match. Well, you wouldn't blame them, for that is one aspect they seem to be lacking.
Having won just a solitary game out of all the 12 last season, and going down in their opening encounter this time around, the Magicians need to turn things around quickly. And what better place than their home turf, as they look to register their first win against the confident Uttar Pradesh Wizards here on Wednesday.
Yes, the Magicians have almost revamped the entire squad, retaining just nine of the 24 players from the first season. The new-look team did put up a spirited fight against the Punjab Warriors in Mohali but eventually lost 5-3, bringing back memories of their forgettable last year.
However, Glenn Turner, who will captain the side on Wednesday after sitting out against the Warriors, feels it will all come together for the Magicians if their 'teamwork' falls in place.
"Last year, the seniors were a bit on their own. If we can bring the team together and execute the plans we've set this year, we'll get on board. Our performance in the last match was good, but we made those little silly mistakes that cost us the game," the 29-year-old forward from Australia said.
And ironing out those mistakes was high on their agenda during their practise session on Tuesday, with the team spending a good one hour on penalty corners, trying out different combinations and variations. Penalty corner conversion will be the key if they are to come up trumps against the Wizards.
Their defence, too, faltered in the last game. Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh will be under some pressure and the defence unit can ill-afford to give away five goals again. So don't be surprised if their reserve goalie, David Harte from Ireland, gets the nod ahead of Sreejesh come Wednesday.
"We did not commit huge mistakes in the defence, but small errors that turned into a goal. We have to focus more on that and we will rectify those mistakes in the upcoming matches," Sreejesh said.
The Wizards, on the other hand, come into the match with their confidence sky high after beating the defending champions Ranchi Rhinos 3-2 in the first game. And they have no problems with penalty corners, with captain VR Raghunath leading the way.
Thus, with both teams locked in the middle of the points table, zooming up on top would be incentive enough for them to go for a win. Certainly, for the Magicians.


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