By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Manchester Phoenix are intent on winning the EPL play-off trophy after conceding their title to Guildford Flames last weekend, says netminder Steve Fone.
Phoenix failed to retain their maiden EPL championship following consecutive losses which combined with Flames’ overtime win over Basingstoke means the title heads south this season.
The Altrincham club still have the chance to win some silverware however through the playoffs and Fone wants to win.
He said: “The play offs are our focus now. Hopefully we can bring the trophy back for the fans, who have shown us great support this year.”
“It was disappointing to lose the title but we’re not too disappointed. We want to build momentum for the play offs. Congratulations to Guildford, they’re a good side.”
Fone admits even if they had won their games last weekend, the title was still a long shot – they needed Guildford to trip up several times and Phoenix to win all their remaining games to stand a chance.
Phoenix lost 2-1 away to Sheffield Steeldogs and went down 5-2 at home to Slough Jets last weekend.
“It wasn’t our weekend. Sheffield is always a tough place to go, and they’ve really improved this year. We had a couple of errors leading to their goals which cost us.”
“We didn’t hit the puck right and that caused us problems.”
Phoenix travel to Swindon tomorrow to take on the inform Wildcats before hosting Guildford at the Ice Dome on Sunday night.
“Swindon are probably the form team of the division right now. Two wins will give the boys confidence looking ahead to the play offs.”
Despite several man of the match performances, Steve believes his season has been merely average.
“I think I’ve done OK. I’ve done well in some games, not so well in others. I believe it’s like that in every sport when you play so many games a season.”
“As long as the team win I’m happy – that’s more important than my performance, and if my performance helps us win that’s the main thing.”
Phoenix recently took part in a news piece with Granada Reports – rare television coverage of the team.
As part of the feature, Steve was entrusted in with the ‘helmet cam’- and he admits no one wanted to damage the expensive equipment.
“I can normally tell where they’re going to shoot – they normally go high but they were shooting low – no one wanted to damage the camera!”
“It was a good experience – it was a little strange playing with the extra weight though.”
Tickets for Sunday night’s game – which starts at 5.30 at the Altrincham Ice Dome – are available now via www.manchesterphoenix.co.uk or on the door.