Sheffield Steeldogs coach Greg Wood confident of booking place at NIHL National Final Four Weekend

GREG WOOD may be forced to rest a couple of bodies for tonight’s NIHL National play-off clash at home to Peterborough Phantoms but is confident his team still has enough to ‘get the job done.’

Two-way forward Harry Gulliver returns to the Leeds Knights line-up this weekend. Picture: Bruce Rollinson
Two-way forward Harry Gulliver returns to the Leeds Knights line-up this weekend. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

With three wins from four so far in their post-season campaign, a win tonight will guarantee the Steeldogs a place at the Final Four Play-off Weekend in Coventry on April 30.

With key forward James Spurr unlikely to play again this season, having been ruled out since January with an upper-body injury, the last thing Wood probably needed was to make do without a couple more bodies.

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But he believes he still has enough talent and endeavour on the home bench to get the necessary points at the first time of asking on home ice before heading to Cambridgshire on Sunday.

“We’re probably going to rest a couple of bodies for the game at ours because we just have to,” said Wood. “But I still believe that we’ve got more than enough to do the job.

“We could lose both games and still go through. But if you’d have said to me at the start of the play-offs that we’d have three wins after four games, I’d have snapped your hand off.

“We’re in a pretty good position and we’ve said it all along, we’re just going to play whoever is in front of us and we’ll deal with each game one at a time.”

Having lost their opening game of the post-season at home to Basingstoke Bison, Wood has been pleased with the response.

“That first game, we outshot them something like 50-26, so it was just one of those games where it probably didn’t matter too much what we did, it wasn’t going to happen,” said Wood.

“Sometimes you just have to accept that sort of thing is going to happen, but the reaction since then has been exactly what we wanted. Sometimes those results have to happen just to remind you that not everything is going to go your way.”

Leeds Knights, whose hopes of making it to Coventry are over after losing their opening four games, will have two-way forward Harry Gulliver back in their line-up for the first time since February as they look to end their debut season on a high.

They take on Telford Tigers at home tonight before heading to Slough on Sunday to face Bees IHC – both teams having beaten the Knights last weekend.