Bracknell Bees are showing play-off form, says coach CoxBy Lewis Rudd
January 24, 2013
Gareth Cox believes his Bracknell Bees side will have no problems securing an EPIHL play-off spot this season if they continue to produce the level of performance which saw high-flying Basingstoke Bison thrashed 5-1 at the Hive on Sunday night.
Lukas Smital, Martin Masa, Scott Spearing, Shaun Thompson and Pavel Strycek were all on target as the hosts recorded their third successive win in as many games in some style.
Coach Cox is now confident the chance to extend their season beyond March for the first time in three years is well within their reach.
Speaking after the victory, he explained how he expected the result to raise a few eyebrows among some of their EPIHL rivals, even though a victory against second-placed Basingstoke came as little shock to him.
Cox said: “This is one of those leagues and it has happened before.
“This is the second time we have beaten them (Basingstoke) this year, so we have had good results against them, good results against Guildford and good results against everyone – apart from Manchester Phoenix (who the Bees take on in a double header this weekend).
“Our main goal is to make the play-offs and to keep in touch with the teams above us, and performances like that are going to help us.
“If we play like that and to that consistency we will have no problem in climbing up the table.”
Cox went on to say how he felt fatigue may have helped his side’s chances on the night, as while Bees were resting 24 hours earlier, the Bison were busy securing a hard-earned two points during a 3-1 win over the Phoenix.
“We knew they had a tough game on Saturday night and we had the day off, but sometimes that can go against you as you can be a little bit cold,” added Cox.
“But we got warmed up properly and got everyone in nice and early to make sure they were in the right frame of mind and that helped us massively.
“I thought we had a game plan and we executed it how we wanted to.
“We wanted to play with pace, and we did all night, but I think they struggled a bit at times after their tough game with Manchester. But it all worked out well for us.”
The win helped Bees consolidate seventh spot in the table, where they continue to sit a point behind Swindon Wildcats.
Bracknell, however, have now played a game more then their Wiltshire rivals after their fixture with MK Lightning on Sunday fell foul of the weather.
Cox, though, is only focusing on the task in hand as he now prepares his charges for what he believes will be two tough games against the Manchester Phoenix this weekend.
Bracknell travel to Altrincham Ice Rick on Saturday (7pm) before the Phoenix make the return journey to the Hive on Sunday (6pm), where the Bees will be looking to end a run of three straight league defeats against their opponents this season.
But Cox insists his side has nothing to fear when they make the lengthy trip up to the North West, as his side is full of confidence in all areas of the rink.
Not only do the Bees boast a three-game winning streak, but they have also chipped in 16 goals during these victories, conceding just seven in the process.
Cox said: “We are clicking at the moment and working well, which is good.
“But it is always a tough game against Manchester. They are very good offensively and have a lot of depth and play at such speed.
“But we have new lines and formations and everything is working well for us, so hopefully we can cause a surprise at their place and come back here on Sunday. “