By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Manchester Phoenix are desperate to win the season-ending playoffs to avoid finishing the year empty handed, according to forward Josh Ward.
Phoenix’s EPL title reign ended a fortnight ago as Guildford Flames claimed the championship after building an unassailable lead. The same team knocked them out of the EPL Cup semi-finals.
The playoffs remain Phoenix’s last chance to earn some silverware this season and Josh thinks the team will give it their all.
“We got so close to the Cup Final and the League title too again this year. Everyone is desperate for some silverware. We’re confident ahead of the playoffs and want to do well this weekend to give us momentum.”
The Altrincham based team play their final games of the regular EPL season this weekend, in a double header with Peterborough Phantoms.
“I’m expecting it to be a very competitive weekend. Peterborough need the points to secure a playoff place and I’m expecting two tough games.”
“We know we only need a point to secure second place but that isn’t the way we’re looking at this weekend. We’re very motivated and want four points. The guys definitely won’t take them lightly.”
Phantoms currently lie ninth in the league, one place and one point behind Bracknell Bees in the final playoff spot. This weekend’s results are crucial to their chances, albeit slim, of trophy success this season.
Phoenix secured a maximum four point weekend last time out, turning over champions Guildford 5-2 at home, and Swindon Wildcats 5-4 away.
“They were probably the form teams of the entire league going into the weekend. It was a difficult weekend but we rose to the challenge.”
“Beating Guildford was more satisfying this time. We felt like we were due a result against them. It’s always nice to score goals and if you can hit four or five past Flames you know you’re on the right track.”
Tickets for Sunday’s game, which starts at 5.30, are still available. Visit www.manchesterphoenix.co.uk for information. All the players will be signing autographs after the game under block seven of the Ice Dome.
Follow Steven Oldham on Twitter - @spoldham
With thanks to Richard Allan for photo