Thursday crunch for Phoenix

Thursday, 8th March 2007

Manchester Phoenix go into Thursday nights bmibaby Elite League clash with the Hull Stingrays knowing a positive result could have a massive bearing on the post-season playoffs.

A Phoenix spokesperson said, "right from the start of the season, our aim has always been to make the playoffs and we've been on track most of the season."

However, recent results have meant the gap between the Phoenix and sides below them battling to finish in the top eight has narrowed. Hull are one of the teams hanging onto the Phoenix shirt tails and having won in Altrincham only last Saturday, they will provide stern opposition again on Thursday night.

"The way the schedule has panned out after all the delays in getting the building, has meant a lot of games in a short space of time," added Phoenix GM Andy Costigan. "But, we've played well against Hull in four out of five games this season, and we just have to pick up the tempo right off the first face-off on Thursday."

Asked what part the Phoenix supporters can play in the teams quest for the post-season playoffs, player coach Tony Hand noted, "our fans have been terrific all season long and they are probably a little frustrated by our results this past week. They though can play a massive part for us on Thursday by again turning up in their numbers and creating an atmosphere to spur the players on."

Hand finished saying, "The guys all know this is a big, big game for us and we'll be going for it right from the start. We've entertained all season long, now we have to get back to winning games and making sure we make that playoff target that the fans deserve."