Four-point weekend is the target for Watkins

Tigers chief Tom Watkins is determined to break his side’s “frustrating” lack of a four-point haul against Bracknell Bees and Milton Keynes Lightning this weekend.

Telford looked to have regained their title-chasing form last Sunday, beating Peterborough Phantoms 6-4 in an absorbing encounter at Bretton Road.

But with Swindon Wildcats having overcome the county men 3-0 the night before, Watkins’ men are still searching for a four-point weekend, to boost hopes of retaining their EPL title.

The Tigers supremo, however, expects the momentum generated by Sunday’s win to play a crucial part in this weekend’s matches.

He said: “To get to late October and still not have a four-point weekend in the bag is very frustrating. But there is a long season ahead of us.

“There’s signs in games that we’re doing a lot of things very well, but we’ve been a little bit unfortunate in front of the net.

“All in all, we’ve got a good balance throughout our line-up, and of course we do miss Jonathan Weaver. I think any team would.

“But we just need to find a way of winning games and on Sunday we did that. It was good to see what it meant to the boys to win.”

The Tigers have enjoyed the upper hand over Bracknell so far this season, winning all three of their meetings ahead of Saturday’s trip to Berkshire.

But Watkins remains wary of a side that beat title-chasing Guildford 4-3 just two weeks ago.

He added: “We won’t be underestimating Bracknell in any way. We have been working hard in training, and getting special teams in place.

“From a coaching standpoint, we’ll have the boys fully prepared. They have to be 100 per cent motivated in their approach to every game and not take anyone lightly.”

Sunday’s visit of Milton Keynes is the second time the two teams have met this season, with the first ending in a 4-3 win for the Lightning.

The Buckinghamshire boys are enjoying a free-scoring campaign so far, taking them to the top of the English Premier League standings.

Watkins will come face to face with his GB coaching colleague Peter Russell on Sunday – and he’s expecting a spectacular night.

“I know Pete very well and we both have similar coaching styles,” he said.

“We like our teams to play aggressively, and create offensive opportunities throughout the game.

“It’s always fun playing against Pete, as he likes to throw in a few surprises. But his sides always work very hard, so it will be a tough weekend for sure.

Sunday’s game against Milton Keynes Lightning, at Telford Ice Rink, faces off at 6pm. For tickets, go to www.tigershockeyuk.com.

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