Lightning must win at home – Rausa

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GENERAL manager Vito Rausa says it’s not essential that Lightning do the double over old foes Peterborough Phantoms this weekend, but it is still their target.

Going into the double-header in good form, Lightning are big favourites to record their second four-point weekend on the spin and continue to climb the English Premier League table.

But despite taking on a Phantoms struggling to score goals, and with just one win in six games, Rausa says it’s too early in the season to call them must win games.

“Of course we want to win, but it’s a bit early to say they are both must win games,” he said. “But we must win at home – the fans keep this club going and winning at home is the way we repay them, so that’s what we need to do.”

Rausa was keen to praise the team’s maturity and determination after Lightning completed a victory-double over Bracknell Bees on Sunday, fighting back from two goals down to win 4-3 at The Hive, having also beaten them 4-2 at Planet Ice 24-hours earlier.

He now wants the players to repeat that level of performance in Lightning’s always unforgiving clashes against Peterborough, who will be missing defenceman Joe Graham with a shoulder injury.

And with Chris Wiggins set for his return to action following a hand injury, Rausa believes Lightning are the better of the two teams, despite a 10-6 aggregate defeat to Phantoms at the start of the season.

“I think we’re a better team than they are,” he said. “But then I’m sure their fans will probably tell you they’re the better team, so we’ll see. Maybe we didn’t take the Ashes games as seriously as they did.

“Wiggie will be playing. He wanted to play last weekend but we didn’t think it was right yet. We had to convince him to put himself first for once before the team. He wanted to play and help the team, but we wanted to give it another week.

“We showed great composure against Bracknell. They were in very good form and went into the weekend unbeaten in four. They were so high in the table I think they were getting a nosebleed.

“We looked tidy at the back and can score goals going forward, so we’re looking good.”