EPL preview: Bees still chasing the Dogs

Bracknell Bees face a must-win game at home to Manchester Phoenix on Saturday as they look to keep their hopes of a top eight finish alive.

The Bees are currently six points behind eighth-placed Sheffield Steeldogs in the EPL table and forward James Galazzi (above) says the players believe they can catch the Yorkshire outfit.

“We are going into the game confident and we will be looking to pick up the points we need,” he told Bracknell News.

“Making the play-offs is our goal and we still believe we are going to achieve it. We have games against teams we think we can match and pick up points from.”

Peterborough Phantoms face a dress rehearsal for the upcoming cup final when they host MK Lightning in the league on Saturday.

The Phantoms are seven points behind second-placed Lightning and forward James Ferrara hasn’t ruled out finishing above their big rivals.

“We’ve managed to get to the final of the cup, and I’ll be disappointed if we don’t manage at least fourth place in the league from the position we’re now in,” he told Peterborough Today.

“I think holding onto third is a realistic goal and we’ll try to put ourselves into a position where we can take advantage if either of the top two start slipping up.”

Telford Tigers’ boss To Watkins is looking forward to a return to normality for his team after their controversial exit from the cup last weekend.

Despite beating Peterborough 9-6 over two legs a new format saw Telford eliminated on penalty shots, but Watkins has quickly switched his attention back to Saturday’s game at Swindon Wildcats.

He said: “It was certainly a good weekend in terms of performance, but for ourselves it is a case of just getting back to the normality of being a hockey team, and take the other things out of our mind.

“We played pretty strong offensively last week and were solid defensively. I liked the look of our powerplay across the weekend and our penalty killing has been performing well.

“But you’re only one game away from a loss, so you’ve got to turn up every day. The team that works the hardest, the team that is most committed will generally on the day get the bounces.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Friday

Sheffield Steeldogs v Manchester Phoenix

Saturday

Basingstoke Bison v Hull Pirates
Bracknell Bees v Manchester Phoenix
Guildford Flames v Sheffield Steeldogs
MK Lightning v Peterborough Phantoms
Swindon Wildcats v Telford Tigers

Sunday

Hull Pirates v Guildford Flames
Manchester Phoenix v Swindon Wildcats
Peterborough Phantoms v Basingstoke Bison
Telford Tigers v Bracknell Bees

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