Peterborough Phantoms expecting another testing weekend after an up-and-down start to the National Autumn Cup

Peterborough Phantoms head coach Slava Koulikov is preparing his side for another testing double header of National Autumn Cup action this weekend (October 2/3).

By Tom Lea
Friday, 1st October 2021, 9:38 am
Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov issuing instructions to his players.
Phantoms coach Slava Koulikov issuing instructions to his players.

The city side have enjoyed a mixed start to the new campaign, and that continued last weekend with a home defeat to the Bees before a win on the road at Raiders.

The National cup campaign continues tomorrow with a trip to Swindon Wildcats (October 2, 6.15pm), while Sunday sees Telford Tiger head to Planet Ice (5.30pm).

Phantoms are currently above Swindon in the cup table, and level on points with Telford having won two and lost two of their four fixtures.

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Leeds Knights and Sheffield Steeldogs currently boast 100 per cent records at the top, but everybody else has both won and lost already, and Koulikov said: “I think if you look at the results from the first couple of weekends, it’s safe to say there’s not going to be any easy games this year.

“Everyone is capable of beating everyone else and that just makes it even more important that we’re ready to play with maximum compete level for the full 60 minutes every week.”

The Wildcats have won just one of their four matches to date, but the Phantoms coach is expecting a tough night in Wiltshire.

“I know Aaron (Nell) well, I know how he likes his team to play so we know what to expect from them on Saturday,” said Koulikov.

“Swindon have always been a team who have had a lot of firepower and their special teams have always been good.

“So the minimum expectation for us is to match their competitive level and make sure we take our chances when they come along.

“It’s always been important to stay out of the box against Swindon because their power play can do some damage if you give them the opportunities and that’s something we’re very aware of going into Saturday.”

And on Sunday’s encounter, Koulikov added: “Telford will still be on a high after winning the league and cup in the last season we played.

“It may have been a while ago with the extended break, but they’ve kept the majority of the core of their team together and Tom Watkins is another good coach so he’ll always make his teams competitive.

“They’re another team who are good on the power play so again it’ll be important to stay out of the box if we can.

“Then it’s a case of executing the game plan for the full 60 minutes and we’ll see where it takes us.

“We always enjoy our home games in front of our fans, they’re always loud and come out in good numbers to support us and I’m sure this weekend will be no different.”