Wait until we really get going warns Phantoms chief Slava

Head coach Slava Koulikov has warned Phantoms' rivals in NIHL Division One South that his side are only three-quarters of the way to reaching their full potential.

Thursday, 12th October 2017, 11:02 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 8:46 am
Teenager Taylor Romeo celebrates scoring his debut senior goal versus Hull Pirates. Picture: Tom Scott

The city side have made a terrific start to life in the sport’s new second tier, reeling off victories in their opening five league games and also triumphing in two different cup competitions last weekend.

It is a run of results which has naturally pleased Koulikov, but he admits it is nothing more than he expected at this stage of the campaign.

“We’re happy with where we are at,” said Koulikov.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We have won the games I expected us to win and we also slipped up in the one where we thought that might happen – away at Hull in the cup.

“As much as we are doing well, we can still do so much better. We’re only between 70-75 per cent of the way there now.

“We are nowhere near to being a finished product and we’ve not even been close to having a complete performance as yet.

“We have so much quality but we need to iron out the little inconsistencies we’ve seen so far.

“We’re aware that some individuals are not playing to their best quite yet and we also realise that certain things still need to be worked on as a team.

“We’re playing more offensive hockey but we have to find the right balance and ensuring we don’t make games too open.

“It’s a fine line, but if we perform individually and collectively to the level I believe we can, we will stand a good chance in all games.

“We want to win every game and every trophy we can.”

Phantoms avenged their sole loss so far when thumping Hull 11-6 last Saturday in the NIHL National Cup Group B return clash.

They followed up with a 5-1 triumph at Sheffield the following day in their first NIHL Autumn Cup outing.

Their attention returns to league matters this weekend with a Saturday home date against Invicta at Planet Ice (7pm) ahead of a Sunday visit to Streatham (6.45pm).

They are two sets of opponents who Koulikov insists must be treated with respect.

He added: “Invicta beat Swindon in overtime last month so that shows what they are capable of doing.

“Streatham also showed they are a strong team when they came to our rink.

“Although we eventually won the game 5-2, it was 0-0 until the final minute of the first period and they got it back to 2-1 at one stage of the second period.”