EPL preview: Birbraer expects “a response” this weekend

Swindon Wildcats face Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday aiming to end a run of three EPL games without a win.

Long term injuries to Aaron Nell and Callum Buglass have upset the Wildcats’ progress in recent weeks, with last week’s heavy defeat at Telford Tigers one of their most disappointing performances of the season.

Wildcats’ forward Max Birbraer is keen to see the team bounce back this weekend.

“To end up losing 6-0 was frustrating, but we really didn’t show the kind of fight that we usually do and that was the most disappointing thing,” he told This is Wiltshire.

“We spoke about it afterwards and we can’t wait to try to put it right – we have to have a response.

“We are definitely going to go for broke on Saturday night. We need to keep picking up the wins to keep up with the teams at the top of the table, otherwise we’ll find ourselves fighting with the guys at the bottom.

“There is only one game this weekend and there is only one outcome that we want. We need to win and we need to show that character I heard so much about last year and we showed so much of at the start of the season.”

Peterborough Phantoms host Bracknell Bees on Sunday looking to continue their excellent recent form.

The Phantoms have lost just one of their previous five games, but despite the Bees’ lowly position in the table Head Coach Slava Koulikov is taking nothing for granted.

“We know that Bracknell are a hard-working team and we’ll have to perform for the full sixty minutes,” he told Peterborough Today.

“We have a run of five games in a week just after Christmas, so perhaps this is a good time to have a little less hockey.

“Only having one game in a weekend has been a bit of a struggle for us in the last couple of years, but fingers crossed we can get it right this time.

“I think players get into a routine of playing two games in a weekend for a whole season, so they’re not used to having the Saturday off.

“In theory that should make it easier physically to only have a Sunday game, but perhaps it makes it harder mentally.

“But we know the importance of continuing to pick up results at home and the guys are well aware of the level of performance required to do that.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Friday

MK Lightning v Basingstoke Bison

Saturday

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

Sunday

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

(Image permission: Steve Bird)

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