Getting to Coventry is ‘absolutely everything’ says Weldon

Will Weldon in action for Phantoms against Manchester.

Will Weldon in action for Phantoms against Manchester.

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Phantoms forward Will Weldon insists their play-off quarter-final opponents cannot be dismissed as a bunch of bruisers.

The city men have opted to face seventh-placed Sheffield in a bid to advance to the finals in Coventry.

It looks an obvious move following a clean sweep of six successes against the Steeldogs, who have a reputation for adopting rough and aggressive tactics, during the regular season.

Now they’ll aim to continue that fine record when the two sides meet at iceSheffield on Saturday (7.30pm) ahead of a return clash at Planet Ice the following night (5.30pm).

Weldon said: “We have got an excellent record against Sheffield this year and it is a matter of doing the same things again this weekend while stepping up our game to play-off level.

“You can’t just brand Sheffield as a team of bullies. There is a lot of skill in that team and the have some high-end players for this league.

“Everyone does what they can to get the advantage at play-off time. If they do look to bend the rules, we’ll have to deal with it, stick to our gameplan and hope to get the results we need.

“There are often surprise results at this stage and we have to ensure we are not on the receiving end of one.

“The top four teams rarely make it to the play-off finals - you only have to look at least season to highlight that.

“The teams which finished first, fourth, sixth and seventh got there with those who were fourth and sixth - ourselves and Manchester - making the final. Getting to Coventry is absolutely everything as winning more silverware is our goal.

“First and foremost we have two games to play against Sheffield and we have to be at our best in both of them.”

And Weldon is confident Phantoms won’t allow the memories of their last two-legged tussle to affect them.

The city men went down 12-6 on aggregate in the EPL Cup final earlier this month after being thumped 9-1 in the first leg.

“What happened against Guildford does still sting, but it is not something that will worry us,” added Weldon.

“We know from that experience that we all have to show up and perform. We can’t win the tie on Saturday night, but we cannot afford to lose it either.”