SWINDON WILDCATS: Aldridge plans to play smart in Sheffield
5:30am Wednesday 19th March 2014 in By Michael Reeves, Deputy sports editor
RYAN Aldridge insists that in-form Swindon Wildcats will look to conserve their energy for the final weekend of the regular EPL season tonight at Sheffield Steeldogs.
The Link Centre side head north on the back of four consecutive victories, three of them on the road, as they get ready to hit the play-offs in sparkling form.
And while Cats will be keen to maintain their recent run, Aldridge is all too aware of the physical toll it is taking on his players.
“It is tough on the body,” the head coach said. “But that’s life I’m afraid.
“We rested on Monday, now we’ve regrouped, we’ll then go up there and play a smart road game.
“We won’t be chasing as much as we have done over the last two weekends.”
The key to Cats’ success over the last fortnight has been a tight defensive game with netminder Stevie Lyle picking up three shutouts in a row, as well as claiming man-of-the-match awards in all three matches.
The latest of those clean sheets came in a thrilling encounter at Bracknell Bees with Lee Richardson’s late second period goal enough to settle the issue.
However, it was an energy-sapping game for Wildcats as Bees piled on the pressure in search of forcing the game on Sunday evening into overtime.
Now with the trip to south Yorkshire on the horizon, followed by clashes with Basingstoke Bison and Slough Jets at the weekend before the play-offs, Aldridge knows what his side have to do tonight.
“We just have to try and play a smart game and not waste too much energy for the weekend,” the Welshman said.
“It is tough with it being a late night midweek game, but we just have to get on with it.”
Cats have already tackled Steeldogs five times this term and they have enjoyed a good run of results winning four of the meetings.
The last game in mid-January at the Ice Sheffield saw Wildcats edge home in a nine-goal thriller.