Shropshire Star

Tom Watkins seeking more quality in Tigers’ attack

Telford Tigers boss Tom Watkins has bemoaned his side’s ‘offensive quality’ after a double header of losses over the weekend.


On Friday, the Tigers lost 5-1 at league leaders Leeds Knights before travelling to Wiltshire on Saturday to take on Swindon Wildcats.

After a tight start to the contest, with two goalless periods to open the game, small margins decided it and Swindon came away with a 3-0 win, after Vladimir Luka and Fin Howells both missed chances for Telford.

“Overall it was a good performance once again but not enough to pick up the points,” Watkins said.

“It was the same as the game against Leeds on Friday, we stayed in the game and pushed hard but didn’t have enough offensive quality to make a difference.

“Five on five offensively we haven’t been good enough against the teams above us in the league and once again tonight we had the same issue. In the past the power play has been such a weapon for us but we couldn’t find a way to score tonight.”

At Leeds, Tigers made a good start when Howells put them ahead.

But the home side took control and walked away with a comfortable victory.

After the game against Leeds, Watkins said: “Where do I start? We had a solid first, period which was controlled and disciplined allowing us to take the lead. In the second period we turn the puck over and get punished, they capitalise on a couple of half chances and we find ourselves two goals behind.

“In the third period we challenged the players to get us back into the game.

“Traditionally we don’t create a lot of five on five against the top teams but I liked our attitude and energy.

“We had a lot of end zone time, pushed really hard and played the majority of the third period in the offensive zone but didn’t create too many quality chances.

“We spent too much time on the outside and did not have enough presence around the net or inside the dots and we need players who are prepared to go hard to the net to create a threat in and around the goal.

“We work and focus hard at it in practice all week, come game day we have players on the outside who all think there are passes to be made when we should be driving towards their goal.

“Hockey is a game that is played in the trenches, we need to go to the right areas to get our rewards. That didn’t happen.”