Phantoms have nothing to fear against top teams

Man-of-the-match Darius Pliskauskas in action against Swindon Wildcats. Picture: Tom Scott

Man-of-the-match Darius Pliskauskas in action against Swindon Wildcats. Picture: Tom Scott

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Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov insists his team of the moment have nothing to fear ahead of a daunting weekend.

The city men have reeled off four successive victories to climb up to fourth place in the English Premier League – slamming in 22 goals in the process.

But their fine form will be seriously tested as they face two of the sides, currently above them in the standings, in the space of 24 hours.

They hit the road for third-placed Hull this Saturday (6pm) before welcoming table-topping Telford into Planet ice the following night (5.30pm).

Koulikov said: “I cannot praise my guys enough for their performances and results in the past two weekends.

“We spoke at length about the importance of putting a run together to lift ourselves up the table, and we made it happen.

“We have beaten teams below and around us, but now the challenge is to try to get results against those above us.

“Hull have a great record on their own ice while Telford are the team who look like they could win the title by some way – just as they did a couple of years ago.

“But we have to give every game our maximum attention regardless of whether we are facing a team at the top of the table, or one at the bottom.

“If we do that, execute our gameplan and have that little bit of luck on our side, we can have another good weekend.

“We certainly have no need to fear any team as we have proved we are capable of getting results against them all.”

Phantoms have already tasted defeat once in Hull this season, going down 3-0 there just over a month ago.

That is one of the 10 successive triumphs that have featured in the Pirates’ perfect gome record.

The sizzling streak includes the scalp of table-toppers Telford, who suffered their only defeat of the campaign in regulation time there.

And it is Telford who then provide Phantoms’ opposition this Sunday – although the latest clash between the sides will do well to rival the Tigers’ last visit to Bretton for drama.

They were beaten 4-3 following penalty shots at the beginning of October on a night when back-up netminder Adam Long starred in overtime and kept out two of the visitors’ efforts in the shootout – all after Marc Levers had hit a last-gasp leveller with three seconds of regulation time remaining.