Skipper convinced his side will bounce back

Captain James Ferrara leads another Phantoms attack against Swindon. Picture: Tom Scott
Captain James Ferrara leads another Phantoms attack against Swindon. Picture: Tom Scott
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Captain James Ferrara is expecting the right response from Phantoms this weekend.

The city team saw their 10-game winning streak in NIHL Division One South ended last Sunday when beaten 5-3 by table-topping title rivals Swindon at Planet Ice.

It was a first league reverse since Phantoms were controversially pipped by London side Raiders in overtime during their first outing of the campaign back in September.

But Ferrara and co. have the ideal opportunity to get in the winning groove when hosting basement side Invicta – who have lost all 17 games so far – at Planet Ice this Saturday, 7pm. That is followed by a trip to Romford to face Raiders on Sunday, 5.30pm.

“It’s important we get straight back on the horse and start picking up points again,” said Ferrara.

“It’s a game that people will expect us to win and it’s probably fair to say we have the better team, but we can’t just assume we’ll get the result. We still have to go out there and fight for it, and ensure we produce the right performance.

“Invicta have run a couple of teams close lately and kept to within one goal of Swindon. They are in a difficult position and have nothing to lose.

“It doesn’t matter whether you are playing a top team or one sitting at the bottom of the table, you have to show up and perform for every minute of every game.

“We have showed our character on previous occasions this season to bounce back from defeats and I’m confident we will do that again.

“Raiders are one of the teams to beat us and we know it will be a tough game there. It’s another night when we will have to fight for everything.”

While the defeat to Swindon was an obvious source of disappointment, Ferrara does not feel the display of Phantoms during that game was a cause for concern.

He added: “It’s disappointing to lose any game, but Swindon are favourites to win the league for a reason and they clearly made a few adjustments following the cup clashes.

“We’ve got to look at the bigger picture and this was merely the first of six league fixtures against them so we have plenty of opportunities to try to amend this result.

“Swindon have dropped points this season themselves and that’s the nature of being in such a competitive league.

“We’re both teams who work and battle extremely hard and everyone saw that on Sunday when we faced each other. It was just a case of Swindon having a slight edge in some of those battles.

“We probably had the better chances overall, but we came up against a good team with a netminder who had a great night.”