It all comes down to Wednesday night as the Phantoms travel to Telford to take on the Tigers in the second leg of the National Cup Final.
Nathan Long is the only Phantom who will definitely miss the trip to Telford on Wednesday night. He is still feeling the effects of the injury he picked up in Bracknell a couple of weeks ago.
Late decisions will be made regarding Joe Hazeldine and Brad Bowering. Hazeldine left Saturday night’s win over Hull with an injury, whilst Bowering sat out Sunday night’s loss to Raiders.
Jonathan Weaver returned to devastating effect for the Tigers on Friday night. The veteran defenceman has missed most of the season but returned to play the quarter back role on the Tigers powerplay. It was a masterstroke from Tigers’ Head Coach, Tom Watkins, as Weaver went on to score twice for his side.
Thomas McKinnon is still suspended for the Tigers, but Dan Mitchell returned to the line-up on Sunday night in the Tigers’ trip to Leeds.
TIGERS RECENT FORM
After a stuttering run of form, the Tigers now have just one defeat in their last five outings. Two of their last five have been 6-4 wins over the Phantoms.
TIGERS LAST 5
W – 6-4 v Peterborough Phantoms (H)
OTW – 5-4 v Sheffield Steeldogs (A)
W – 6-4 v Peterborough Phantoms (A)
OTL – 4-3 v Sheffield Steeldogs (H)
W – 4-3 v Leeds Chiefs (A)
We need to correct a couple of things from Friday. Overall at 5 on 5 we had some of the better chances and maybe should’ve scored one or two extra goals. Our special teams could’ve been better, especially on the powerplay as we didn’t create that much. We have identified that and it’s down to the players now. We just have to be mentally strong because it was only a couple of small margins and decisions which didn’t go our way which meant we lost the game.
It’ll be a different game on Wednesday. Telford will come out flying and we’re going to have to have everyone playing, as a minimum, the way we played on Friday night, with the desire and passion we showed in that game. If we can bring that and correct the two or three things we’ve spoken about, it’s game on.
We knew what we wanted out of the first leg, but the minimum requirement was to not have over a two-goal deficit and, whilst we’re at the bottom end of that, it’s all correctable and comes down to identifying what needs to be done and to correct it. On Friday at 5 on 5, it was a really good game and we need to bring those levels again as a minimum for the second leg.
Tickets in the away block are sold out, meaning you’ll need to purchase a standing ticket if you haven’t already bought yours.
If you can’t make it to the match, full match updates will appear on our Twitter account, @GoPhantoms.