Bracknell Bees aiming to find their stingBy Adam Lee
October 20, 2011
Bracknell Bees coach Gareth Cox has challenged his mis-firing forwards to rediscover their goalscoring touch this weekend.
Bees have found the net just five times in the last four games, losing their last two home games in the process.
Granted, Bees have come up against two netminders in top form during those games, but had it not been for Bracknell’s impressive defence, then things could have been much worse for Cox’s team.
But he insists it is just a matter of time before his players start turning the chances into goals.
“With the firepower we have the goals will come,” he said.
“Defensively we have been quite consistent.
“Our goals against is about three a game right now whereas last year we averaged six or seven, so we have basically halved that.
“With the forwards we have we will score goals, but we are obviously going through a bit of a dry patch.
“There’s a lot of reasons for it – our PP is struggling and that is a big part of hockey, but we are looking to change things there.
“It also comes down to confidence, while it’s also a case of other players not necessarily stepping up to take the pressure off when our big players aren’t scoring.
“We’re shooting the puck and creating chances and on Sunday alone we had five two on ones.
“More often than not we are taking the wrong options in those situations.”
Having lost to MK Lightning on penalty shots on Saturday, and then losing 2-1 at home to Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday, Cox is looking for an immediate response this weekend.
However, standing in their way are Peterborough Phantoms and Manchester Phoenix, two of Bees’ bogey teams from the past two seasons.
Phantoms visit Bracknell for Bees’ first Saturday night home game of the season (6pm face-off) before Cox’s men travel north to face Manchester on Sunday (5.30pm).
The only question mark hangs over the fitness of forward Michael Bowman, who suffered a knee injury against Sheffield on Sunday, but otherwise Cox is confident that his players can lay some demons to rest during this weekend’s fixtures.
But because of how tight the league is proving to be this season, Cox has warned the fans not to expect high-scoring games every week.
“I’ve not got one good memory of playing Peterborough last year,” he said.
“They were definitely a bogey team for us, but it’s a completely new team for us this season.
“The way the league is, the way the results have been going and the way we have been playing defensively, there’s no reason why we can’t go anywhere and get a result.
“There’s no easy weekend for anyone this year and that is brilliant for the league and brilliant for the fans – but it may mean much closer games and fewer goals.
“Some of the fans have been getting down about it, but people have to understand that when you play tight games you have to stay disciplined – you can’t afford to go hell for leather and give away cheap penalties because everyone has a job to do.
“If it wasn’t for the early part of the season when we beat Slough and Basingstoke and also the pre-season games, people would be very happy with our league position.
“But becasue expectations are now so high people are looking at it as a negative when actually we are in a very good position at the moment.
“We have got seven points, and we’re only three points off the top of the table.
“We could go top if we won both games this weekend!”