Lightning must beat Phantoms declares coach Poole

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Nick Poole is demanding that his Lightning players make amends for their worst performance of the season when rivals Peterborough Phantoms visit on Saturday night.

The Cambridgeshire side won 3-2 on their last trip to Milton Keynes at the start of February – a defeat Poole has described as the poorest of the 2012/13 campaign.

In fact Peterborough have won three out of the four games between the sides so far this season, and Poole is keen to put that right this weekend.

“Our last defeat to them was our worst performance this season – no doubt,” said Poole. “This time we need to send our fans home happy.

“The rivalry with them isn’t what it was four or five years ago, but we really want to win because we’re hoping to get third place and can’t afford to drop many points from now on.”

The city side go into the weekend in fourth place in the English Premier League, with the Phantoms game on Saturday followed by a trip to Guildford Flames 24 hours later.

The Surrey outfit appear to have the league title already won, but Lightning gave them a scare last Saturday, only losing 3-2 at Planet Ice.

That came in the middle of a busy few days for Poole’s troops who won at Swindon Wildcats last Thursday and then away to Telford Tigers on Sunday.

The Lightning coach, who has found himself getting a bit more time out on the ice than he would like because of injury problems, said he was satisfied with the four points from three matches, but still disappointed not to have made it six.

The return from injury of defenceman Lukas Zatopek should mean Poole returns to the bench this weekend – exactly where he wants to be.

“We’re a better side when I’m not playing,” said the 39 year-old, who announced his retirement in January.

“A top four place has been our target all season and we still think we can get there.

“Our form against the bottom sides has held us back and so we need to put that right. For a while on Sunday I was worried about losing to Telford again.

“Although I was disappointed to lose to Guildford, our form against the top teams is good and that gives is some confidence going into the play-offs.”