Swindon Wildcats’ boss Aaron Nell has demanded an immediate improvement from his team after their disappointing 4-1 home defeat against Peterborough Phantoms on Wednesday.
The Wildcats host Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday, before travelling to Bracknell Bees the following day, and Nell wants a reaction from his players.
“We’ve put a lot of pressure on ourselves after Wednesday – not because of the result but because of the performance,” said Nell.
“The result just happens. If we had lost and we had left it all out there and we were unlucky, then you hold your hands up.
“But I think we were very, very flat – that was basically everyone – and we’ve put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and on Saturday night, we need to be flying.
“I don’t care if anyone’s tired or whatever. They need to go and be ready because Sheffield are going to smell blood.
“Sheffield are going to think ‘we’ve got a chance here’ and we’ve got to make sure that we make up for Wednesday at the weekend and get back on an upward trend.
“It’s not just the players – it’s myself too. We’ve all got to be better. If we want to be a team like Peterborough or Basingstoke, who overachieve, then we’ve got to be consistent.”
Telford Tigers’ netminder Sam Gospel has dismissed talk of the EPL title ahead of Sunday’s encounter with the Phantoms.
The Tigers need four wins from their final seven games to secure top spot, with second-placed MK Lightning still eight points adrift with a game in hand.
“We’re definitely just taking it game-by-game at the moment,” said Gospel.
“It is a case of winning each period one at a time. If we do that, then we will be fine.
“This is where we need to be playing our best hockey, at this time of the season. We’ve started the last few games well, which is so important in shutting the other team down.
“Peterborough are a very good trapping team and can catch you on the break, so we need to be aware of that.
“They have got some good shooters who can put the puck in the net. It will be a tough game on Sunday.”
Basingstoke Bison v MK Lightning
Peterborough Phantoms v Bracknell Bees
Swindon Wildcats v Sheffield Steeldogs
Bracknell Bees v Swindon Wildcats
Guildford Flames v MK Lightning
Telford Tigers v Peterborough Phantoms
(Image permission: Steve Bird)