Watkins slams ‘pathetic’ performance

Telford Tigers Head Coach Tom Watkins has branded his side’s performance in Saturday night’s 3-1 defeat to Basingstoke Bison as ‘pathetic’.

Tigers needed a win to keep alive their faint hopes of retaining the EPL title, but after Basingstoke took a two-goal lead in the first eight minutes, they were unable to find a way back into the game.

Watkins, who must now lift his men for Sunday night’s encounter with Guildford Flames in Telford, was frustrated to see them fail to fire in Hampshire.

He said: “We lost a huge game tonight and I can’t measure how disappointed I was in the team’s performance. It was pathetic. We got out-muscled on the puck and made it way too easy for them.

“We didn’t play with enough energy, the guys got off the gameplan and our powerplay tonight was very poor. We made bad decisions and it was very disappointing.

“In such a big game, I asked the guys to play with character and battle like we did Peterborough last week. But we didn’t get that level of commitment and it was hugely frustrating.”

Basingstoke took the lead with two early goals, as the Tigers struggled to adjust to the absence of injured captain Jason Silverthorn.

A goalless second period was followed by a third strike for the Bison on 51 minutes, before Telford hit back through Dan Davies just 60 seconds later.

Watkins added: “Jason has not been rested or rotated. He is injured and could be out for some time.

“Having him out made line changes quite hard, with not enough centremen on the face-offs. Jason is a guy who wins draws for us and he’s number one on the powerplay and penalty kill.

“He left a huge hole for us to fill tonight.”

(Image permission: Steve Brodie)

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