Pitbulls need a confidence booster before going into the Christmas break
BRISTOL Pitbulls visit the Chelmsford Warriors this Saturday to play their last fixture before they start a four-week break.
With only two points from their first six games, the Pitbulls are desperate to record their first win and ensure they go into the break in a positive frame of mind.
While Chelmsford are winless in their last three games, Bristol coach, Richie Hargreaves, is taking nothing for granted.
He said: "I thought Wightlink were struggling going into our last game, but we came back on the wrong side of a 10-5 scoreline.
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"So, I'm not taking anything for granted just because Chelmsford are going through a difficult patch.
"We need to make sure that we add to their problems and don't just end up giving them their confidence back. They've had some good results this season, including an impressive win in Peterborough.
"They're a young team who are being used to drip feed to their first team in the higher league. So, we need to play for the full 60 minutes like a team that is desperate to come out of the bottom end of the table."
At the start of the season, Hargreaves set his team a target of not conceding more than three goals a game.
However, they are struggling with the second worst goals against average in the league, having only met that target once, back in the first game of the season.
Chelmsford provide an opportunity to get that aspect of Bristol's game back on track.
Hargreaves added: "In all the seasons that we've played them, it's never been a wide open, high scoring game.
"It's always been a tight challenge. With their bigger ice, we'll have more time on the puck and we need to use it as an opportunity to show that we know how to close a game."
It is that inability to finish a game off that is currently frustrating Hargreaves the most.
Statistically, the first period is Bristol's best period this season with an aggregate score of 13-12, an impressive feat for a team that has played all of it's games on the road.
However, they have yet to win a second period despite outshooting the opposition during those middle twenty minutes.
He added: "We've shown that we can compete, we're just not doing it for 60 minutes.
"We get a good start and then turn off and start daydreaming. We then over-compensate, forget our systems and get puck greedy as we chase the game.
"Maybe some complacency has kicked in and so I'll decide after training this week who gets to play based upon their attitudes.
"I only played three lines against Wightlink and I'm prepared to do the same again to get the message across."
And getting that message across includes making it clear that no-one's place on the team is a foregone conclusion.
"They all know that I'm talking to other guys with a view to making some changes to the roster.
"But, I need to get them fighting for spots. I need them to understand that if they don't bring their A-game, I have other options."