The Swindon Wildcats prepare for a busy period against the “chasing pack” this weekend when they play host to the MK Lightning in the first of three EPL fixtures, as the Buckinghamshire based side travel to the Link Centre for another exciting Friday night clash, face off 7.45pm.
With the Cats yet to record a league victory against their visitors, you would be forgiven for thinking the result was a foregone conclusion, however following last Saturday's 5-1 defeat of the Sheffield Steeldogs, the Cats extended their unbeaten home run to five straight league victories which is a feat that Bench Coach Peter Russell is confident the side can turn in to six.
“Saturday's result was another really strong performance but the guys and I thought we played a very controlled game,” he told us. “We are hitting a rich vein of form and everyone at the club is feeling really good right now.
“The players have worked hard through all the up's and down's and stuck together and at this stage of the season with the play off's coming up, its an exciting time for everyone connected to the club.”
With the Lightning knowing that victory would move them to within one point of third spot in the league, the visitors will be in no mood to roll over as they look to continue their own impressive campaign and the coach continued: “Every game against the Lightning has been tight this season and Friday will be no different - if we keep our performance levels up which I'm certain we will.
“The players are prepared for the challenge and are determined to continue to work hard and are striving to get better and better and are aiming to peak at just the right time.”
Meanwhile, Saturday evening will see the side on their travels once again when they make the short journey along the M4 corridor to take on the fourth placed Slough Jets, face off 6.30pm.
The Cats have enjoyed two league victories over their hosts already this season, however with the Jets having found consistency of their own in recent months, the Berkshire based side have managed to keep pace with the chasing pack and all but guaranteed their place at the end of season play off's weeks ago.
Speaking about whether or not the Jets will know what to expect from the Cats during the match, the coach continued: “They have a lot of talent on their bench and it's another game where we'll need to be at our best to get anything from it.
“I don't think any club will underestimate the Wildcats as they know we have good scoring capabilities and the coaches will know that we work hard on our systems.
”I know Shep [Head Coach – Doug Sheppard] and the Slough team very well and they will want to win just as much as we do so we will have to stick to our tactics and work as hard as we can.”
Concluding the weekend, the Cats make their way up to Ice Sheffield to take on the physical challenge of the Steeldogs who will be looking to avenge the 5-1 defeat they suffered at the hands of the Cats last Saturday evening and speaking about the final game of the weekend, the coach said: “The Steeldogs play in the same manner each time we face them – with determination, heart and to make it a real battle.
“We will need to out-work them like we did last weekend and if we manage that, I'm confident that we will pick up another two points.
“It's never easy to play three games in three days, but the guys are raring to go. We are improving with every game and the players are really enjoying things.
“We'll need to play a more contained game on our travels this weekend, and we'll look to tweak things a little when needed, but all we can do is continue to take each game as it comes and look to work with what we have available.”
Going in to the weekend, the Cats are likely to continue without the services of defender Joe Baird who remains sidelined while a decision will be made on Thursday evening over the fitness of netminder Thomas Murdy following a knock he picked up last weekend. Other than that, Head Coach Ryan Aldridge is able to chose from a fully fit squad.
Don't forget, you can book your place on our official team coach to this match by either calling the Wildcats office on: 01793 886 857 or see a member of staff at the game on Friday evening. The coach departs the Link Centre at 12pm and tickets are set at £22 for adults, £19 for concessions and £17 for children. All prices include coach travel and entry to the game so why not join us and help cheer the side on as they bid to reach the play off's?
If you can't make any of the games, you can keep up to date with the action by adding us on Twitter, follow us: @SwinWildcats
Any supporters unable to make Saturday evenings game at Slough are also reminded that our ENL side are at home on Saturday evening when they entertain Cardiff in their final league match of the season. Face off at the Link Centre is at 5.45pm and the club welcome your support.