EPL preview: Wildcats set sights on Coventry

Swindon forward Robin Kovar believes the Wildcats are coming to the boil nicely ahead of this season’s EPL play-offs.

Victories over MK Lightning and Sheffield Steeldogs last weekend took the Wildcats to fifth in the table with just five games of the regular campaign to play.

The Wiltshire outfit host Bracknell Bees on Saturday before visiting Guildford Flames the following day and Kovar is aiming for a repeat performance

“It was a great team effort and a great win against Sheffield last weekend,” he told the Swindon Advertiser.

“It gave us a four-point weekend and we are back on track following the weekend before. We really wanted to bounce back because it was a really bad loss in Bracknell and we wanted to prove that we were a better team than that.

“Last Saturday, we beat one of the best teams in the league in Milton Keynes, and Sunday was a tough road game.

“Our special teams worked well and it is something that we have been working on in training, and it has become our advantage.

“In the play-offs, this is going to be a huge part of our game. You don’t want to be losing and think that things will change in the play-offs.

“We want to get our heads into a play-off mood now – win every game and get our confidence high – and hopefully keep the levels up and make it to Coventry, because this is our goal.”

Sheffield face a tough weekend as they look to secure their place in the play-offs.

The Steeldogs travel to MK Lightning on Saturday before returning to home ice the following day to meet Basingstoke Bison.

With six games to play the Yorkshire side have a seven point lead over Bracknell in the battle for the final spot, but they are yet to win against either of this weekend’s opponents this term.

If the Steeldogs and Bison finish in their current positions in the league they will meet again in the play-offs and captain Ben Morgan is looking forward to the test.

“To beat Basingstoke you have to be at the top of your game and play your game the way you want to – I think if we can get the win on Sunday we can show we are ready for the play-offs,” Morgan told the Sheffield Telegraph.

“I’ve always said since Doug Sheppard has been coach down in Basingstoke that they are a team to model yourself on.

“They are hard to beat in their own rink, they travel well. They are very disciplined, just like Peterborough. They utilise their strengths very well, so it will be a good bench mark of where we are at.”

Peterborough Phantoms’ boss Slava Koulikov has urged his team to put last Sunday’s 4-1 home defeat against Basingstoke behind them and secure third place in the league.

The Phantoms visit Hull Pirates on Saturday, before rounding off the regular season with two games against Guildford Flames and Koulikov is targeting a six-point return.

“Beating Basingstoke would have pretty much wrapped up third place, but we couldn’t get the result,” he told Peterborough Today.

“I don’t think the scoreline did us justice after two periods, but the third one was frustrating.

“We don’t like dropping points at home and it has happened too often lately. It’s something we’ve got to look at and work out how to break teams down.

“If we win our three remaining games, we’ll finish third and that is the target. We’ll be at full tilt every time we hit the ice now.

“Traditionally we don’t do well in Hull. We had some problems there last season when they were struggling, and we’ve lost both visits so far this season.

“They are a team we could face in the play-offs, so it’s important we put in a good performance.”

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

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

Sunday

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

(Image permission: Steve Bird)

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