David Harte says the Irish team mantra is “we are not leaving here without a medal” as they build up for their European Championships semi-final in London.They meet hosts England at 2pm on Saturday afternoon, looking to add a tangible prize to what has already an historic week for Ireland.
And while Ireland go into the tie as underdogs, Harte says it is a position that they are well used to at this stage.
“The moral is still high in the group and we said in the huddle we are not leaving here without a medal.
“After the World League where we faced top teams like Australia, Belgium and England and this tournament with Germany and the Netherlands, we don’t fear anyone. We can focus on ourselves and what we can do as a group.”
He references talk of the relative haves and have nots but says his side will never allow this to be an excuse for their performances on the pitch.
“Outside of us, there will be talk in the media about the lack of funding. It’s all about our incredible hard work, pride and the fact we have a strong group of players both here and at home.
“If we were to continually to compare ourselves to groups who are more fortunate with funding, we might as well bang our heads off a brick wall. That’s not how it is for us and we are aware of that.
“We’ve dealt with it magnificently over the last number of years to still come out and get results. It’s a sign of how much belief we have as a group and the togetherness we have.”
They meet an England side that they have a relatively good record against in recent times, drawing last month with in the World League, in their Great Britain form, as well as in July 2014 at this venue at the Investec Cup.
A month before that, the two teams shared a series in Dublin with Ireland winning the initial tie 2-1.