Silverthorn: Tigers to focus on ‘job in hand’

Silverthorn: Tigers to focus on ‘job in hand’

Tigers skipper Jason Silverthorn wants his men to ignore the melting pot atmosphere in Coventry during their play-off semi-final against Basingstoke on Saturday.

Over 3,000 fans are expected at the Skydome Arena for this year’s play-off finals tournament, following a quarter-final campaign that saw the Tigers finish second in Group A.

The winners of Telford’s game will face either Milton Keynes or Guildford in Sunday’s final, as the English Premier League season reaches its climax.

Silverthorn, who has already led his side to the EPL title this season, will take a level-headed approach to the league’s showpiece weekend.

He said: “We still have to play with the same mentality. It will be a big, raucous atmosphere, but we’ll treat it like any other game we’ve played this season.

“We’ll go out, play one shift at a time, then one period at a time and get the job done.

“We’ve had to play that way all year. We couldn’t go into any game, with us chasing the title, without treating it like a championship game.

“The boys are ready, and they’ve had that experience all year long. We’ve just come through a good six-game battle, so we’ll hit the ground running.”

Telford’s previous trip to the play-offs finals, two years ago, ended in a semi-final defeat at the hands of Peterborough Phantoms.

The Tigers captain added: “There is unfinished businesses and it was definitely hard to go out to Peterborough two years ago. The squad we have this year is a lot deeper.

“We’ve got all our lines going at the same time, so it is hard for teams to match up against us. That was one thing Peterborough did last time,

“This year, the other teams won’t have that luxury.”

Telford’s quarter-final matches saw them lose to both Guildford and Peterborough, with the final standings coming down to the last games on Sunday.

An 8-0 win over Sheffield sealed the Tigers’ place at Coventry – and Silverthorn believes his men are coming into form at the right time.

“Teams tighten up during play-off hockey and always play in a different way,” he said.

“The finals are of course a different animal and everyone comes to play. There are no bad teams.

“Everyone has got a good a chance, so we’ll go there in the right mindset and be prepared to battle.”

Telford play Basingstoke Bison in Saturday’s second semi-final at 5pm, following the first game between Milton Keynes and Guildford at 1pm.

The final takes place at 4pm on Sunday.

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JASON SILVERTHORN