Improving Peterborough Phantoms facing tough Yorkshire double header
Peterborough Phantoms face a tough Yorkshire double header this weekend as they aim to maintain their improved run of form.
After a poor start to the National League season, Phantoms made it two wins in a row on Sunday as they saw off Basingstoke Bison 5-3, and that followed on from a 3-0 win over Raiders seven days previously.
Slava Koulikov’s team will be keen to stretch that run but they face a difficult double header, travelling to fellow strugglers Leeds Knights on Saturday before hosting leaders Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday evening (5.30pm).
Phantoms lost 5-3 in their opening home league game of the season to Leeds, but they have yet to face a Steeldogs side that have won seven of their eight matches to date.
Leeds were twice beaten by Telford last weekend, conceding 15 goals in the process, but Koulikov said: “Leeds on Saturday will be a tough game.
“Their team is full of top-end British guys and solid young Brits in support of them. They had a difficult weekend last weekend and they’re going to want to bounce back with a win against us.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re prepared and ready to go in to a really tough game as we did the last time we played in Leeds. If we can do that, we’ve got a chance of getting the two points.”
And looking ahead to hosting the leaders, Koulikov added: “Sheffield have started the league season really well and we know it’s never an easy game against them.
“Our compete level and willingness to battle hard in the corners is going to be important because they’ve always been a team who will go to those areas and work hard.
“We need to make sure we’re willing to do the same, and execute our own game plan if we’re going to win the game.”
Reflecting on the win over Basingstoke, he added: “The game showed the progression the group has made after such a long break.
“It has set the minimum standard that we need to play to in every game from now until the end of the season.
“Basingstoke came at us in the way we expected, they’re relentless and they don’t give up when they’re down on the scoreboard. That was shown in how they got a couple of goals to get back within one.
“But on the whole, we managed the game well, the defence and goaltender worked well as a unit and we took our chances when they came along.”