EPL preview: Osman not panicking over away form

Hull Pirates’ Player/Coach Dominic Osman has refused to panic about his team’s away form, despite losing their last five fixtures on the road.

The Pirates have won eight out of eight on home ice, but haven’t recorded an away victory since the middle of September.

They host EPL leaders Telford Tigers on Saturday ahead of a trip to face Manchester Phoenix the following day and Osman is confident his team can replicate their home form away from Humderside.

“Hull is a tough place to play when we have a team like ours that keeps coming and coming,” he said. “So far we’ve found a way to win at home – knock on wood, we can keep the run going.”

“There’s no panic – it’s October, and we have a good record so far, but our last away win was in Sheffield. Even then I didn’t think we played that well.

“We’ll sit down and evaluate and talk with the older players and talk one-on-one and see where any issues are.”

Basingstoke Bison boss Doug Sheppard has demanded a response from his team after seeing their seven-game winning run emphatically ended at Guildford Flames last weekend.

Bison travel to Swindon Wildcats on Saturday, before facing MK Lightning at home on Sunday and Sheppard wants to see a big improvement from his players.

“It was a big game in Guildford and we never turned up – I felt the night before we did not play well even if we won,” said Sheppard.

“Things have to change otherwise I will be making changes. We have to get back to playing Bison hockey and outworking teams. This is a massive weekend for the team.”

Peterborough Phantoms’ Head Coach Slava Koulikov believes games against teams near his own in the table provide the perfect opportunity to climb the standings.

The Phantoms lie eighth heading into Saturday’s home game against Guildford, just two points behind the Flames with a game in hand.

With a trip to bottom of the table Bracknell Bees on Sunday, Koulikov is hopeful the Phantoms can take full advantage.

“Guildford have had a difficult start after enjoying success last season, but they are a team who can never be taken lightly,” he told Peterborough Today.

“They’ve made some changes and they’ll be determined to get up the table themselves, but our focus is on continuing our good home form.

“We’ve performed very well on our own ice when beating Swindon and Hull in the last couple of weeks, and we need to ensure that continues.

“The game in Bracknell on Sunday is simply a must-win. We certainly can’t afford to drop any points to a team below us.

“We have a really good record against Bracknell, but what has happened in the past will not have any bearing on the future.

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

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

Sunday

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

(Image permission: Tony Sargent)

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