We are genuine league contenders despite our problems – Hargreaves
AFTER a week off, the Bristol Pitbulls return to action this weekend with their first double header of the season.
On Saturday, Bristol travel to Swindon to play the local Wildcats before travelling to Basingstoke the following day to play Lee Valley Lions. While both games are technically home fixtures for Bristol, they are being played in other venues due to the closure of Bristol Ice Rink.
While Bristol's opposition occupy the bottom two places in the league, they are teams that Bristol struggled to beat earlier in the season with single-goal victories in both cases.
Coach Richie Hargreaves is keen to use these games to send a message to the league that Bristol are genuine title contenders.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Wednesday, May 22 2013
He said: "With Lee Valley, no disrespect to them, but we played down to their level. We've been good this season at dictating how the game goes. We have the puck a lot and we make teams play against us the way that we want them to. But, Lee Valley got us running around, maybe because guys were looking at personal stats rather than team objectives.
"With Swindon, we were rusty after a month off and you could see that. Both teams are very similar in that they are hard working teams, niggly and finish their hits.
"It won't be an easy weekend, but we need to make a bit of a statement now.
"We need to accept that a two or three goal lead is not enough. We need to be thinking, "let's keep it going." We've not whitewashed a team yet and I want that from the games. I want the league to say that our earlier close results against Swindon and Lee Valley were a fluke because Bristol have just hammered them 8-0."
But Hargreaves wants to use these games to improve all parts of their game and not just provide an offensive blitz.
"The AWOL line, as it has now become known, (Adi with Olly and Liam) is carrying our offence and we need other guys to step up. But, we also need to keep our goals down compared to recent games. If we can stop league leaders Peterborough from scoring against us, we should be able to stop."
Saturday's game in Swindon carries an extra edge. The two teams met only two weeks ago in a bad tempered affair.
And with ex-team-mates playing on both sides, it is a tie that is becoming the biggest rivalry in the league.
"With Abu Saada, Merrick, Chilcott, Moore and Osborne playing for Swindon, we know how to niggle them and knock them off their game. But, it works both ways and they know how to do that for us.
"As a result, in our last game, it was the ex-Bristol guys who were creating the mayhem. Abu Saada was one of the two guys that dictated that game for them.
"He's a good shot blocker, good offensively and niggly. He's experienced and knows when to shoot the puck and when to get rid of it."
Pitbulls enter the final phase of the season with an additional shirt sponsor after Kinderton's Accident Management pledged their support to the club.