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Aldridge happy to focus on the play-offs
WILDCATS secured their place in the EPL play-offs on Wednesday and head coach Ryan Aldridge has revealed he has been planning with that in mind for the last couple of weeks.
Swindon’s place in the top eight was confirmed after Sheffield lost 7-5 at home to Milton Keynes, meaning the ninth-placed Steeldogs cannot catch the Link Centre side.
Wildcats have been pushing for the top half of the table for some time now with a comfortable cushion on those on the fringes of the play-offs, and Aldridge says certain players have been left out recently with the end-of-season knockout stages in mind.
“We’ve thought it was going to be that way for a while, so it’s nice to be able to focus on the play-offs 100 per cent now,” said Aldridge.
“The last couple of weeks we’ve kind of been focusing on it anyway by leaving guys out who could have played.
“Henri (Sandvik) probably could have played last week and he wanted to, but the physio told me if we waited one more week he’d be back to 100 per cent, so I thought we might as well wait. We have a couple of knocks like that.”
Aldridge hope to have three full lines for the trip to Milton Keynes tomorrow and the home clash with Basingstoke on Sunday, thanks to the return of import Sandvik and youngster Floyd Taylor.
D-man Shane Moore is still experiencing discomfort with a foot injury.
“We want to get back to winning games again and get back to competing every night with three lines. Two lines is hard on the body for the guys that are playing,” continued Aldridge.
“We need to get our competitive edge back. Missing so many guys has been tough and has meant we’ve struggled in the third period. Now we need to get back to fighting right to the end.
On this weekend’s games, Aldridge added: “We always seem to struggle with Milton Keynes because of the size and the way they play. We need to play a very smart road game.
“Basingstoke have struggled of late probably because they have focused too much on offence and that threw all the weight onto Stevie Lyle (netminder).
“But they are a team that can win against anyone, there’s no doubt about it, so that will be a massive test on Sunday.”