A slip of the fingers has caused embarrassment for Hockey New Zealand and its national women's coach Mark Hager.

One News have reported former Australian international striker and long term Black Sticks coach Hager inadvertently sent an email critical of some players to more than the intended support staff colleague.

The email reached his players. In it, Hager was critical of players for being struggling to run, being unable to do repeat efforts at training and battling to push through pain and heat.

Hager also made the point the players do not train hard enough.

Advertisement

The Black Sticks, who were ranked fourth at the time, had a poor World Cup campaign in London last month, failing to reach the last eight and dropping two spots in the world rankings.

In April they had been jubilant having won a maiden Commonwealth Games title on the Gold Coast, but there have been some ordinary results this year.

Hager, a straight-shooting personality who has kept the Black Sticks among the world's elite teams throughout his term, is in his 10th year in charge of the team.

He apologised for his comments which he acknowledged were poor and he had no excuses.

HNZ said it was aware of the incident. The matter had been dealt with immediately by senior players and Hager took full responsibility.

It believes no further investigation is required and both parties are understood to have put the incident behind them.

In a recent interview with the Herald, Hager admitted he was likely to stand down after the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, no matter the outcome there, as it would be time for a new voice.