Cox: Swindon Wildcats clash is a four-point gameBy Adam Lee
January 12, 2012
Bracknell Bees coach Gareth Cox has stressed the importance of Sunday night’s home clash with Swindon Wildcats in the club’s mission to secure a play-off spot this season.
Bees lie four points behind rivals Swindon, but crucially, three points ahead of Peterborough Phantoms, who are one place outside the play-off zone.
Cox’s charges have the opportunity to close the gap on Swindon with a trip to Yorkshire to face Sheffield Steeldogs on Saturday night (7.30pm face-off), before hosting Swindon on Sunday (6pm).
And Cox is already classing the game as a four-pointer as the race for the play-offs gathers pace.
“We have a big game against Swindon this weekend,” he said.
“We still have a game in hand on them with four points difference, but there’s almost as big a gap betwwen us and Pweterborough which people seem to forget about.
“We’ve still got 25 games left and making sure we stay in a play-off spot has been our goal since the start of the season.
“Obviously we would like to be higher up the table and we feel we deserve to be higher up the table, but some of the reuslts just haven’t gone our way.
“We’ll keep battling away and hopefully we will get there.
“Sunday’s game will be the same as the Peterborough one last weekend – we are taking it as a four-point game and hopefuly we will come out on the right side of the result.
“Sheffield is always a tough place to go – they beat Slough last weekend and they are doing very well.
“I’ve got a lot of admiration for them this year.
“They’ve put a good team together on a low budget and they are doing quite well out of it.
“They are a big physical side but we will go up there and do our best.”
Meanwhile, Cox is crossing his fingers that Slovakian forward Peter Jasik will be back in contention having not played since December 18 due to a knee injury.
The loss of Jasik has compounded Bees’ injury woes already this season, but Cox is hopeful that Jasik will be fit enough to make a return to the team.
With Carl Graham and Tom Annetts also unavailable, Cox believes the injuries are having a negative affect, but commended the efforts of his squad for rising to the challenge.
Bees top line of Rob Lamey, Martin Masa and Lukas Smital are being asked to put in extra shifts to make up for the loss of Jasik.
And Cox insists that his side will just have to sweat it out until the injured players return because the club does not have the funds to draft in another player.
“We are asking them to do a lot, but the Brits have stepped up and are doing fantastically for us,” said Bees coach.
“It’s just when it comes to the third period on a Sunday we are tired – there’s no disputing that. “We don’t have the luxury of bringing loads of guys in when we need them so we just have to deal with it.
“Hopefully Jasi plays next weekend. He’s walking on it now and it seems to be healing, we’ll just have to see how he skates on it this week.
“We have an import out and one of our top Brit D-men out, then when you lose players to penalties it really takes its toll.
“Having those guys out really limits your depth and although we try to use the bench as much as we can, sometimes you need those extra guys.
“But when we get everyone back to full fitness I think we’ll be fine.”