Larkin's winning mentality
by Matt Phillips
Paralympics GB v Spain
3.30pm, Friday 31 August
The Paralympics GB Blind Squad kick off their London 2012 campaign against Spain on Friday afternoon with Head Coach Tony Larkin calling for a winning mentality from his medal hopefuls.
Spain have proved to be a thorn in the side for Larkin in recent years, scoring inside the last nine seconds to beat his England team at the opening game of the 2010 World Cup in Hereford while the nations have barely been seperated in European Championship and international friendly competition in recent years.
Ahead of tomorrow's 3.30pm kick-off Larkin said: "It's a game we don't want to lose, but I feel that a win this afternoon will set us up.
"In past performances against Spain we've dominated games but just not been able to finish them off and that's what we've been working on - the winning mentality.
"It's about being patient because you don't win a game in the first five minutes and you don't win the Paralympics in the first game as well.
"Our first aim is to get out of the group stages and into the final four and get ourselves in a medal position."
The media spotlight has been on striker David Clarke since carrying the Paralympic Torch in Wednesday night's opening ceremony show which was broadcast to a global television audience of 1bn.
But Larkin believes that GB carry a real goal threat across the park at London 2012.
He said: "All our players now are comfortable travelling with the ball and they can all score goals, we've maybe been over-reliant on David Clarke in the past.
"We've purposely left David out of a number of internationals and people like Dan English, Daz Harris, who's an experienced player,
he can score goals - Keryn Seal, Robin Williams - he's got potential, so we're not just a one-man squad now.
"We've got a really good balanced squad. In the past, when we went to Beijing, we had four good, strong outfield players but when we took them off the park the team got weakened but that's not the case this time around.
"We've got a good balance of experienced players and younger ones, there's four players who've been to Beijing and then the other four young
players are really keen. They've brought an extra dimension to the squad and they're willing to listen.
"I think we've got every chance of being on the podium."
Paralympics GB v Spain will broadcast live on Sky Channel 452, Freesat 152 and Virgin 552 & 555 (HD)