Sam’s looking forward to a key weekend

Tigers defenceman Sam Zajac is refusing to give up hope on his side’s belated title challenge, as he prepares for crucial games against Basingstoke Bison and Guildford Flames.

Telford, who meet the EPL’s two form teams this weekend, are still fifth in the standings – although they have up to four games in hand over the leading sides.

Victory in both games would keep the Tigers in mathematical contention to retain their title, albeit with just eight league matches left to play after this week.

And Zajac will demand a repeat of his side’s winning performances over the last six games, when they face Basingstoke and Guildford.

He said: “We’re there and we’ve got a slim chance. We haven’t put ourselves in a great position, so we’re starting to run out of games a little bit now.

“If we can get four points this weekend and hope Basingstoke slip up, then we’ve got to play them again. Of course, we’ve got a very tough run-in ourselves. If we take maximum points, that’s all we can do.

“We’ll look at this weekend as being make or break for the title. We need to keep going, move forward and then treat every game with the same make or break attitude.”

Telford’s current run of six wins has placed them joint-top of the EPL form table, alongside Guildford, with Basingstoke having lost just once in the last five games.

Zajac added: “It’s great to have this run, as it makes coming to the rink more fun and people have got a smile on their face. It’s not that we’re just winning games, but we’re playing well.

“We’ve got confidence in our ability, we’re a dangerous team and nobody will want to face us in the play-offs. Every possible match-up will be different this year, with the way teams are chosen.

“I’m not sure who you would want to pick, because teams like us, Sheffield and Swindon can all beat any other team on their day.”

Zajac has also formed a dangerous partnership with new import forward Andrei Makrov, after the pair contributed two of last Saturday’s seven goals against Manchester.

“We haven’t had a lot of time to work on special teams, but Tom obviously knows he’s got a good shot there with Andrei,” he said.

“It’s an excellent chance for a one-timer and if we can get the puck to him, he can get a good shoot off and surprise a lot of netminders.”

Telford’s game against Guildford Flames, at Telford Ice Rink on Sunday, faces off at 6pm. For tickets, go to www.tigershockeyuk.com.

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