Tigers happy to grind out success

Telford Tigers’ boss Tom Watkins will be happy to see his team continue grinding out wins, if it means they extend their lead in the EPL this weekend.

The Tigers are currently three points clear at the top of the standings, following last Sunday’s dramatic win over second-placed MK Lightning.

They travel to face struggling Bracknell Bees on Saturday night, before hosting Peterborough Phantoms at Telford Ice Rink the following day.

Despite having just one player in the top twenty of EPL scorers, Watkins believes his side has the strength in depth to continue their impressive start to the season.

He said: “The individual scoring tables really don’t matter to me at all. It can be hard to shut down a talented player, but the important thing is to have a group mentality.

“As long as everyone buys into one concept, and I say this to the guys a lot, it doesn’t matter who is scoring goals, or getting the points. It’s all about a team collective, with the focus on winning a hockey game.

“The important thing is to get a spread of scoring. That way we are harder to shut down and can grind out wins. We’re not killing anyone at the moment, but we’re getting those wins by having depth throughout the roster.”

Saturday’s encounter will see Telford play a Bracknell side that is currently ninth in the standings, having undergone an almost total rebuild during the summer.

Watkins added: “It’s tough when you play a side for the first time, as you haven’t got any video to go through, so you’re going in a little bit blind.

“The important thing is that we focus our own time and energy on our own team.”

Sunday’s visit of Peterborough will be a chance for the Tigers to gain revenge for a late penalty shots defeat at Bretton Road just a few weeks ago.

“We definitely didn’t do ourselves any favours with our first and second period performances in Peterborough,” Watkins said.

“We didn’t approach the game with the right attitude and came out hard in the third period, but didn’t do enough to win in regular time, before stumbling in the penalty shoot-out.”

(Image permission: Tony Sargent)

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