Tigers ready for tough run-in

Telford Tigers have been primed to face six weeks of pressure cooker atmosphere in the EPL – starting with Saturday’s trip to Guildford Flames.

The league leaders are ten points clear of second-placed MK Lightning, having played two games more, as the season enters its closing stages.

With the Lightning due to visit Telford in the final game of the season on March 19th, they could yet overhaul the Tigers in the race for silverware.

Tigers’ boss Tom Watkins is expecting a tough start to that run in Surrey tomorrow, with Guildford still jostling for play-off places.

He said: “The pressure always increases after Christmas, which is something you find in every league in the world. This is a key part of the year.

“The points are worth the same, of course, but the focus, the intensity and the importance is heightened. We’ve been playing with that for a couple of weeks and managing it well.

“They’re the games that are fun to coach in and I’d much rather be involved in them at this time of the season, so it will be all to play for tomorrow.

“Guildford is a tough building to go to – it’s got a big ice pad and the Flames have had success over the last few years. We’ve worked on a few things this week and hopefully that will help us out.”

Telford have the relative luxury of a day off on Sunday, following a run of six games in two weeks – and Watkins will expect his men to use the rest wisely.

He added: “We are used to playing Saturday and Sunday through the season, so it will be nice for the guys to spend some weekend time with their families or girlfriends.

“Apart from Christmas, I think it is the first time since the start of the season in September that we’ve had that. It’s no particular advantage as such.

“We’ve got a few one-game weekends coming up, so it’s all about maintaining that level of focus, performance, results and making ourselves hard to beat.

“If we’re hard to beat, then that’s half the battle.”

(Image permission: John Uwins)

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