Tigers set for return against Milton Keynes

Tigers coach Tom Watkins hopes his side’s extended Christmas break will pay dividends in tomorrow’s trip to face EPL title rivals Milton Keynes Lightning.

A quirk of the fixture list means Telford have played just once since December 18th,when they beat Manchester Phoenix 10-1 in Blackpool after Christmas.

That break has given Milton Keynes the chance to close the gap to Telford at the top of the standings to six points, while also having a game in hand.

But with his players having now enjoyed a full week of training, Watkins is confident they can benefit from that gap in the schedule.

He said: “I think for the guys both mentally and physically, after what has happened this season, it has been good for them to have some down time.

“Of course, as a club we would have liked some home gates, but the boys have been able to rest and recuperate.

“It has been nice to have the break and we might be a big sluggish to start, but the guys have blown the cobwebs away in training this week.

“We’ve had a couple of sessions together and there is a good feeling amongst the boys. They’re in good spirits.”

The trip to Milton Keynes will see the two sides continue a fascinating season-long battle in the league, that Telford currency lead by three wins to one.

Watkins added: “Games against the Lightning are always good fun for the players and I always enjoy coaching against Pete.

“There is a very good rivalry between the two sides, so I am sure there will be some good hockey on show.”

On Sunday, meanwhile, the Tigers welcome Swindon Wildcats to Telford Ice Rink, for their first home game of the year (6pm).

“This is not necessarily the toughest part of the year, but it’s the second stage of the year with roughly 20 games left to play,” Watkins said.

“It is a big weekend, starting the back end of the season and these are all very important games now.”

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

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