Phantoms captain James Ferrara looks ahead to Thursday’s National Cup Semi-Final first leg against the Hull Pirates.
It’s been a tough start to 2020 for the Phantoms, with one win in five games since the start of the new year. Ferrara doesn’t necessarily see the cup as a welcome distraction but does think it could lead to good things for the rest of the year.
“We are programmed to get a result in every game. We have been a little inconsistent of late and haven’t perhaps started 2020 the way we hoped, but a good result in the cup could lead us into setting that bar high and have a good run in the remaining league fixtures.” Ferrara said.
After last year’s treble win, Ferrara believes a similar mindset needs to be adopted this time around. The only difference in Ferrara’s eyes is the opponent.
“We went into every game with a positive mindset and a game plan to win those games last year. Nothing changes in that regard; except we will plan differently for different opposition at a different moment in time. We need to consider the fact we play away first, against a high scoring team in a rink we have struggled in recently.” Said the captain.
Since the formation of the Pirates a few years ago, Phantoms have tended to struggle to pick up results at the Hull Arena. However, Jimmy is confident that the team can come away from Thursday’s first leg with a positive result, providing the players are all on the same page.
Ferrara said: “We need to ensure that all players are on the same page and execute the tactics which will disrupt their game. We need to acknowledge they will have scoring chances but limit them, as well as being clinical when opportunities arrive. I am confident with the right mindset we can overcome the obstacles ahead of us.”
“The minimum we want to be able to do is take back the opportunity to win the tie at home, in front of our fans in the second leg. A win would be an ideal situation and we would always strive to perform our best and get the most positive result.” He continued.
Like the Phantoms, the Pirates have been playing with a short bench for much of the season so far, with a number of players missing games through injury. But they’re beginning to get players back in the line-up and have also replaced Peter Fabus with Matt Bissonnette. Ferrara knows what the Phantoms need to do to achieve a positive result.
“We need to be defensively sound, stick together, out work them and execute. We need to also be level-headed over 120 minutes. We also have players recovering and so will go into the game with an extra boost!” Ferrara said.
And Ferrara isn’t thinking about his upcoming retirement too much, but would like to win another trophy in his final season.
Jimmy said: “I think it will mean as much to the rest the team to win the trophy, regardless of my personal circumstances. Winning the trophy is our aim, we will fight over 4 games (hopefully) to do that. It would be amazing and another highlight for this club and the people surrounding it!”
If you’d like to travel to Hull on Thursday to support the Phantoms, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to book your place on the bus. Doors will open at 6:30pm with face off at 7:30pm.
If you can’t make it to the game, full match updates will be on the Phantoms Twitter account, @GoPhantoms.