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Page last updated at 19:27 GMT, Thursday, 9 July 2009 20:27 UK

Reed demands crucial improvement

Venue: Lucerne, Switzerland Dates: Friday, 10 July - Sunday, 12 July
Coverage: Live on the red button and BBC Sport website with highlights on BBC Two, 1300-1400 Monday, 13 July


Hodge and Reed reflect on Henley defeat

Peter Reed is aiming for a significant improvement in his partnership with Andy Hodge in Great Britain's top pair at the Lucerne World Cup regatta.

The duo have lost three times to New Zealanders Eric Murray and Hamish Bond.

And Reed says it is time for them to close the gap on the Kiwis as they step up their programme ahead of the World Championships in Poland in August.

"Our aim is to be a lot closer to them and we definitely have to raise our game," Reed told BBC Gloucestershire.

"It will be a very tough weekend. We've been turned over by them in three races now and I've got to say, very honestly, that they're faster than us at the moment.

"We need to be honest with the public, ourselves and the coach because if we're not then we won't improve to the level that we need to in the next few weeks."

The duo won Olympic gold in the four in Beijing but, after a disappointing start to the season, have experimented by switching Reed into the stroke seat.

It failed to pay dividends at Henley but the 27-year-old Reed described it as "an exciting change" and knows there will be more as coach Jurgen Grobler helps them eat into the advantage Murray and Bond presently hold.

Soon after they return from Lucerne the pair will go into a "ruthless" training camp as the countdown to the start of the World Championships on Sunday, 23 August continues.

Reed added: "The fat lady sings in Poznan and Lucerne is another step towards that big goal of the season.

"It will be a learning curve. We'll learn more about ourselves, and our new positions in the boat, and the opposition as well.

"Since the Olympics we certainly haven't got complacent. We've been working as hard as we ever do and that's not going to change.

"Jurgen's always got a plan. At the moment we're not the favourites to win in the World Championships, you'd have to say New Zealand were and we obviously need to turn that round.

"Jurgen's the master at turning these things around.

"That will inevitably involve a different way of rowing, changing our technique slightly and will involve a lot of physical work which is a big component of rowing.

"We're going to be working hard on so many things to change it around. Changing me into the stroke seat is evidence of that and we'll see more of it as we go on through the weeks leading up to the World Championships."

Watch Reed and Hodge in action at the third World Cup regatta, live on the red button and BBC Sport website on Sunday, with highlights on BBC Two on Monday, 1300-1400 BST.

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