Telford Tigers’ forward Doug Clarkson believes this weekend’s EPL double-header against MK Lightning are his team’s biggest games of the season so far.
The Tigers head into Saturday’s game in Milton Keynes with a three-point lead over Lightning, and with the teams set to meet again in Telford on Sunday Clarkson is anticipating two tough battles.
“It feels like the last weeks have been getting bigger and bigger for us, and this weekend is definitely the biggest of the season for us,” he said.
“If we come in and play like we did at the start of the season, I think we’ll be successful. But Milton Keynes have got a very good side.
“Games have got away from us in the first period over the last few weeks and we’ve usually pulled them back in the second and third period.
“When you’re playing teams in this league you have to start well, be physical and forecheck well. It’s a huge weekend for both teams.”
Tigers’ boss Tom Watkins also expects there to be little between the two sides, with both teams boasting a win apiece from their two meetings so far this season.
He said: “It’s all down to fine margins in games like these. A wayward pass, a missed scoring opportunity or a big save can make a difference. They are all hugely important.
“We always try to focus on those details and try to make sure we do the little things really well, and do them hard and fast, to the best of our ability.
“I think if you can do that, you’ll generally allow the bigger things to take care of themselves, so our focus is on those small details.
“We need to play solid defensively, manage the puck well, limit odd-man rushes and deny good scoring.
“It’s still just two points each night, but these are the games that are really fun. Guys always come to play and get up for them a little bit more.
“I haven’t been here for a few days, because of the Great Britain games, but I know it has been on the players’ minds, so they’re fully aware of what’s at stake and how much it means.”
(Image permission: Steve Brodie)