Watkins: Tigers’ players “committed” to the cause

Telford Tigers’ Head Coach Tom Watkins believes his players will deliver “committed” performances when they face Basingstoke Bison and Sheffield Steeldogs this weekend.

The EPL leaders have seen Phil Hill, Ondrej Raszka and Michal Satek leave this week, after the club offered revised contracts due to a restructuring of finances.

With Macaulay Heywood also leaving a few days earlier, Watkins will have fewer options when planning his defence of Tigers’ six-point lead at the top of the standings.

He said: “After the last week and with the weekend now here, our focus is now able to change onto something we all love doing.

“But guys have stayed because we’re first in the league and there’s the chance to carry on and win something. That is something we can’t forget.

“The players will go into the weekend and you’ll see a committed performance from everyone involved in the team.

“I’m sure if we continue to do that, then we’ll have a chance to continue where we are. Of course, after everything we’ve been through it won’t be easy.

“You never know how the season is going to go, but the strength of mind and togetherness has made us strong. As a group right now, we’re determined.”

Telford have already beaten Basingstoke and Sheffield so far this season, but Watkins admitted his side could approach this weekend’s games in a different manner.

“For us, it is a different mentality that we’ll go into the game, just on numbers – hopefully that will just be for the weekend,” he added.

“We’ll change, but we still have a lot of quality in the squad. We have great goaltending and what I believe to be one of the best defences in the league.

“On this team there are some extremely talented offensive guys who again are some of the top players in the league.

“When we can add a little bit of depth to that, I think we can get back to where we were.”

(Image permission: James Baylis)

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