Watkins willing to let experience lead the way at Coventry
Tom Watkins will prepare his title-winning side for a â€œdo or dieâ€ weekend, as the club approaches its first-ever appearance at the EPL play-offs in Coventry.
The county men qualified for the final-four showdown after an 11-3 aggregate victory over Sheffield Steeldogs, taking them closer to a triple crown of major trophies.
They head into the tournament as favourites to clinch a further title, with confidence high after collecting both the EPL championship and British Challenge Cup.
Saturday afternoon sees them take on Peterborough Phantoms in the first semi-final.
And Watkins will call on his senior playersâ€™ experience in play-off competitions to guide his side to glory at the Coventry Skydome.
He said: â€œI donâ€™t mind who we play and to be just two games away from another major championship is a huge achievement for all the guys. Every other team will be thinking the same thing, so itâ€™s going to be a fantastic weekend.
â€œWeâ€™ll put everything on the line, and it’s do or die. You either progress or go home for the summer. Weâ€™ve got a great group of players and theyâ€™ve played a lot of play-off ice hockey in the past.
â€œThat experience will stand us in good stead, but itâ€™s on the day and itâ€™s 60 minutes. I stressed toÂ the players that every period, and every shift matters.â€
Next weekend sees The Tigers play their semi-final on Saturday, with the final taking place on Sunday afternoon.
Tigers owner Wayne Scholes, meanwhile, has refused to deny rumours that parent company Red Hockey has bought a 34% stake in Manchester Phoenix.
Red Hockey purchased 49% of Bracknell Bees earlier this month, and is known to be hunting an expansion of its powerbase.
He said: â€œWeâ€™ve had some great talks with the guys in Manchester and itâ€™s clear that we can help each other. I have always said that by working together, we can stabilise the sport in this country.
â€œMaking ice hockey in the UK sustainable is a huge part of the plan we have at Red Hockey. There is no reason that by working with three teams, the decision-making process can’t be made much simpler.â€