EPL preview: Smital keen to end home hoodoo

Bracknell Bees’ boss Lukas Smital has called on his team to end their woes on home ice with a victory against Sheffield Steeldogs this weekend.

The Bees have failed to pick up a point at The Hive this season and Smital is hopeful his team can end that run on Sunday.

“We’re still looking for that first home win and we’ll do our best to beat them,” he told Hoops and Hockey.

“There are no weak teams, every game is very tough. We just need to be switched on against Sheffield, disciplined and believe we can break that spell.”

Peterborough Phantoms face a difficult looking weekend as they bid to halt their slide down the EPL.

Phantoms, who have won just once in five games to drop down to eighth in the table, travel to Basingstoke Bison on Saturday before returning to home ice against Swindon Wildcats the following day.

Defender Scott Robson says the team are not worried by recent results.

“We know what we are capable of doing when everyone clicks, and we also feel sure that will soon happen again,” he told Peterborough Today.

“Dipping below the 50 per cent ratio for the first time this season was not ideal last weekend, but winning four of our first 10 games is not the worst start either.

“The league looks to be a lot stronger all-round this year and there have been plenty of surprise results already.

“Bracknell won at Guildford last weekend and we’ve probably had a couple of them ourselves.

“I’m convinced we will push on and be up there by the end of the season, but we’ve got to make sure we are mentally switched on for the full sixty minutes.

“We can’t continue to throw leads away. We’ll learn from it, adapt our game and try to put things right.”

Basingstoke follow up Saturday’s clash against Peterborough with their first ever trip to Blackpool to take on Manchester Phoenix on Sunday.

Phoenix have won just once this season, but Bison Head Coach Doug Sheppard expects a difficult game.

“I’ve never been there, but I know it is a small rink,” said Sheppard.

“They have some dangerous players and I expect them to have a few more bodies back. We have to make sure we go there and play for the whole sixty minutes.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

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

Sunday

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

(Image permission: Bob Swann)

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