Telford Tigers’ boss Tom Watkins will be forced to utilise his depth players this weekend after losing Jonathan Weaver and Adam Taylor to injury for up to six weeks.
Weaver left last Sunday’s game against Manchester Phoenix in the first period, while young forward Taylor (above) also finished the evening out of action.
With Joe Miller also injured, Watkins will be forced to juggle his lines for this weekend’s games against Guildford Flames and Sheffield Steeldogs.
He said: “Weaves will be out for four to six weeks, and it will probably be something similar for Adam. We’re hopeful that we’ll get Joe back in about two weeks.
“It’s just frustrating for those guys to start the way they did, especially Weaves and Joe, with how the season has gone for them so far. It’s very start and stop.
“They’re both working hard and doing all they can to be ready to play again and Adam is just following a prescribed plan from week to week.”
However, the emergence of young defender Corey Goodison could be a chink of light for Watkins in coming weeks, following his performance when filling in for Weaver.
The 19-year-old won’t be available this weekend due to commitments with Tigers’ NIHL team, but Watkins believes his roster will cope despite the absentees.
He added: “It’s always important to have a squad with depth. We won’t have Corey all the time, as he’ll be up and down with the NIHL team.
“We’ve got three guys out and we’ve still been able to play three or four good lines of hockey, so depth is key.
“The important thing to remember is that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Tigers’ unbeaten start to the campaign has raised expectations amongst the Telford fanbase – but Watkins urged caution ahead of this weekend.
“It’s very early in the season, so we just need to keep on turning up and playing like we have been,” he said.
“We can’t get ahead of ourselves. Every rink is a tough place to play, and teams have all got good players and netminding. The guys need to be at their best every night.
“I don’t judge any team, whether it’s at the start of the season or at the end, and as we’ve already seen, any team can beat the other in this league.”
(Image permission: Steve Brodie)