We can beat anybody on our day, says MK Lightning coach Pete Russell

MK Lightning are on the crest of a wave at the moment, and head coach Pete Russell wants it to end with silverware.

Monday, 23rd January 2017, 5:10 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd January 2017, 5:18 pm
Lightning coach Pete Russell

Lightning booked a spot in the English Premier League Cup final last Wednesday with a sensational 8-2 win over Hull Pirates, and completed a brilliant week with back-to-back 5-2 wins to close the gap at the top of the table to just five points to leaders Telford Tigers.The team will make the step up to play Elite League hockey next season - a higher level of competition - and having already booked a spot in the Cup final, won't write off doing the double.

"There are a lot of games to play, but on our day, I think we can beat anyone," he said. "The games come thick and fast, and with the Cup, it adds a lot of midweek games, but we go into every game looking to win it."

The two-legged final will be played against rivals Peterborough Phantoms next month, with the second of those games taking place at the MK Arena. With crowds continuing to grow for Lightning's home games, Russell believes the rivalry between the clubs will only add to the spice of the final, but admitted he tries to stay out of it.

He said: "It will add a bit extra but I try not to pay attention to any of that. It's a great achievement to reach the final, we've worked really hard to get there.

"Peterborough play some exciting hockey and they're good in the goal tending department, but I think we can beat anyone one we come up against."

Wary not to let the Cup success go to their heads, Lightning were in goal-scoring mood again at the weekend, beating Guildford Flames at home, then going to Bracknell Bees, with both scorelines reading 5-2.

Russell was impressed with his side on both nights, especially against the Bees after a hectic few weeks for the players.

He added: "Against Guildford, I thought we really controlled the game, managed it really well. But against Bracknell, which is always a tough place to go, we looked tired after a busy week. The players though didn't let themselves down, so I'm really proud of them."

Tickets for both legs of the final will be available from www.mk-lightning.co.uk