Daunt­ing four-game run lies ahead

Coach’s view

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport -

Phan­toms coach Slava Koulikov has told his play­ers to be­lieve they can cause shocks dur­ing two daunt­ing week­ends of English Premier League ac­tion.

The city side face reign­ing cham­pi­ons Bas­ingstoke and 2016/17 ti­tle favourites Mil­ton Key­nesin each of the next two week­ends.

The daunt­ing four-game run be­gins with a visit to MK on Satur­day (7pm) ahead of a home clash against Bi­son (5.30pm). The fix­tures are then re­versed the fol­low­ing week­end.

And Koulikov wants his men to hit the ice on a high fol­low­ing their 6-1 slaugh­ter of Swin­don last Sun­day.

He­said:“We­out­playedand out­worked Swin­don for 60 min­utes last Sun­day, and that is the stan­dard of per­for­mance we need to pro­duce on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

“If we do that, we’ll have a chance of get­ting re­sults again­stanyteaminthe­league.

“We have to re­spect the qual­ity of the play­ers that MK and Bas­ingstoke have, but we also have to en­sure our guys be­lieve they are ca­pa­ble of beat­ing them.

“MK started the sea­son very well with two wins last week­end while Bas­ingstoke lost both of their games, but I can guar­an­tee we are in for two big bat­tles in each of the next two week­ends.” A lack­lus­tre Phan­toms side were­beat­en­bya­pairof­pow­er­play goals in the sec­ond pe­riod on the open­ing night of the new English Premier League sea­son.

Phan­toms had ear­lier been handed the per­fect start when­teenagede­fence­man Tom Stub­ley struck with a shot through traf­fic on his com­pet­i­tive de­but.

Plenty of trade­mark hero­ics from net­min­der Ja­nis Auzins en­sured they pre­served their nar­rowlead­un­til the­first­break, butevenhe waspow­er­lessto­pre­vent­the Steel­dogs from mak­ing the most of a cou­ple of nu­mer­i­cal ad­van­tages.

An­drew Hirst was the player to fire past him from close range on both oc­ca­sions as Sh­effield lev­elled early in the ses­sion andthen com­pleted the turn­around on the the buzzer.

Only the pipes de­nied Phan­toms a sec­ond goal of their own in that pe­riod as Marc Levers struck a post dur­ing a pow­er­play, while cap­tain James Fer­rara tipped a good chance just wide dur­ing the same spell of five-on-four.

But Phan­toms rarely looked like claw­ing them­selves l evel i n the f i nal pe­riod when only two out­stand­ing Auzins saves to denyS­teel­dogs im­portPavel Mr­napre­vent­edtheird­eficit from in­creas­ing.

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