SWINDON Wildcats forward Floyd Taylor believes that Sunday’s second-period meltdown at Manchester is the kind of episode his team must avoid if they are to finish in the EPL’s top eight.
The Link Centre outfit slipped out of the play-off spots for the first time this season following the loss at Altrincham Ice Dome, with a second-period collapse proving critical in the defeat.
Swindon conceded three goals in less than 90 seconds which allowed the Phoenix to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead, before they eventually went on to triumph 6-3.
Taylor, 18, remains confident that Wildcats will be in the end-of-season quarter-finals but warned that only hard work will get them there.
“I do believe in the boys and I think we can make the play-offs. Everyone’s just got to work hard every night and we can’t take a shift off any more,” he said.
“That was proven in the second period against Manchester where we took five minutes out and they killed us.
“It’s a long season and we’ve still got a lot of games left to play so don’t doubt us - we will be there.
“Everyone beats everyone in this league and hopefully we will be straight back in the play-off places again.”
Taylor was disappointed to lose out to a Phoenix side that iced a distinctly second-hand netminder in Steve Fone.
While Fone has the best save percentage of any goaltender in the EPL, he missed Saturday’s 5-2 defeat to Basingstoke due to illness and was far from his brilliant best against the Wildcats.
And Taylor admitted that Swindon should have unleashed more than the 28 efforts they managed on Fone’s goal.
“It was unfortunate because we should have got more shots on them and I don’t think he (Fone) was 100 per cent,” said Taylor.
“With our goals he didn’t have a clue where things were going.
“If we had put the puck on the net more, then I think it would have been a different game, but we didn’t capitalise on his illness.
“Most of Manchester’s goals were lucky, they got lucky bounces that went their way.
“It’s hard to come into this building and they have got such good players that when they do get a lucky bounce, it’s normally a goal.
“You have to work hard every shift against them or they will do what they did to us in the second period, and they can do that to any team in the league.”