Sheffield Tigers’ joint team boss Marc Bates insists their League Cup semi-final tie with Somerset is far from over.
Tigers will host the table-topping Rebels at the Owlerton home track tomorrow (7.30pm) needing to overhaul an 18-point deficit if they are to successfully book their place in the final of the competition.
Bates knows his side will face a highly difficult task – made even harder by the absence of skipper Simon Stead due to a nasty foot injury suffered last week.
But with Richard Lawson again stepping in as a guest, Bates believes an aggregate victory is not out of his team’s reach.
And he has called on his side to claim a confidence-boosting win heading into the play-offs regardless of whether they manage to meet their 18-point target.
“It won’t be an easy ask, but it’s certainly do-able,” said Bates.
“As long as everyone tries their hardest and does their best, then that’s all we can ask.
“Somerset are a good team, but we beat them by 10 last time and if all the boys are at their best then we will be there or thereabouts.
“It’ll be tough without Steady, who won’t be riding this week because he’s still struggling with his foot.
“But we have Richard Lawson guesting again and he was superb for us last week.
“Jason Garrity is out for the season as well, as everyone knows, so it’s not ideal but we still have plenty of quality riders.
“If we can get off to a good start and claw back some points early on then hopefully we can give Somerset a bit of a scare and put them under some pressure” said Bates.
“Even if we don’t manage to get the win on aggregate, we’ll hopefully get a good result and performance on the night to set us up nicely for the play-offs.”
n Sheffield Steelers ice hockey players will be in attendance to watch the action tomorrow and show their support for their fellow professional sports team in the city in a visit organised by Ian Hunter at Sheffield Window Centre.