SWINDON WILDCATS: Richardson ready for another D-Day
6:00am Friday 19th October 2012 in By Ned Payne
LEE Richardson insists he is happy to fill in on defence again if required, even though he admits it’s a ‘nerve-wracking’ task keeping the puck out of the net.
The 29-year-old forward volunteered his services for the EPL visit to Bracknell last Sunday after injuries to Joe Baird and Shane Moore left Swindon with only three D-men, one of them being Stevie Whitfield who was suffering with a bug.
Richardson offered to step in and although the Bees took a sudden-death penalty shots win following a 2-2 draw, the ex-Cardiff man earned praise from Wildcats head coach Ryan Aldridge.
Aldridge is hoping Baird will have recovered from a knock in time for this weekend’s fixtures at home to Bracknell on Saturday (5.45pm) and at Slough on Sunday (6.30pm), while Whitfield is back to full fitness, so there should be no need for Richardson to deputise.
However, if the situation crops up again, he would take his place in the rearguard for the sake of the team.
“On Sunday it was just a matter of trying to help the boys out and trying to make sure I didn’t cost us the game,” he said.
“It’s a lot more nerve-wracking playing there because every mistake you make is highlighted and there’s no room for error.
“If you lose the puck as a forward then then they have got a long way to skate before they can score, but it’s not the same as a defenceman.
“You get in your comfort zone playing the same position every night, but when you’re put somewhere else you’ve got to think a bit more.
“I don’t mind it, I just want to help us win and playing with Jan (Melichar) is a massive help.”
Richardson is targeting revenge against the Bees tomorrow night, given Swindon’s improved injury situation and the fact they have home advantage.
“Bracknell tend to be our biggest rivals in the league and most games between us are quite tight,” he said.
“Last Sunday with us being a short we had to be a bit conservative, but this weekend we’ve got to be looking to beat them.
“It will be a tough ask because they have been playing well and will be on a high from beating us last weekend.
“It’s really important for us to win our home games, because everyone apart from Telford seems to be picking up points.”
Slough are second up on Sunday and Richardson revealed the squad were hoping for a much-improved display on the one they gave in the teams’ previous meeting.
“I think we let ourselves down the last time we played them at home (Swindon lost 7-3), it was probably our worst performance of the year and we were all very disappointed,” he added.
“Theirs is a good rink to play in because you’re always in the game, and we’ve had a good record there in the past “They have had a bit of a messed-up schedule with only one game a weekend quite a lot recently, so it might be a good time for us to try and turn them over.”
Meanwhile, Wildcats are to welcome a team of junior wardens to the Link Centre for the Bracknell game tomorrow night.
The group have been invited as a reward for identifying problems that affect their communities and setting about solving those issues.