EXPERIENCED Lee Richardson has urged Swindon Wildcats to make the most of home advantage as they enter a busy period of games at the Link Centre.
Following tomorrow’s trip to EPL-Cup finalists Basingstoke, the Wildcats then face four straight games on their own ice, beginning with Slough on Sunday.
Ryan Aldridge’s men have taken 11 points out of a possible 12 at the Swindon rink and Richardson, who can operate as a defenceman or forward, feels it is critical to carry on in that vein.
He said: “Since Christmas we’ve only dropped one point at home and although Basingstoke will be tough, hopefully we can use the subsequent home games to really start building momentum up.
“The way we’ve been playing - with a lot of speed and energy - has been good and when you play full steam at home it does play into your hands.
“Playing away is a bit more cagey as you wait to see what’s going on, but playing the way we have recently at home has paid off. It would be nice for that to carry on.
“We need to keep our form up and make sure that the Link Centre is not a nice place to come and play.
“It’s a massive advantage winning the home game on a weekend as it takes a little bit of pressure off the away game.”
Richardson, 31, started off the season with Slough and has also played for Basingstoke - albeit only twice in 2007/08 - and feels his team can go into the weekend in positive mood.
“Basingstoke had a cup game in midweek so hopefully they will have a hangover from that,” he said.
“Especially at this end of the season it messes up the whole week as you would normally practise on a Tuesday and Thursday, although I’m sure winning makes them feel less tired. We need to play a smart game and see what we get out of it.
“Slough have had a few issues but we can’t take them lightly.
“There’s been a lot of changes there especially with the British guy and two imports since I was there, but they still play the same sort of system and have got nothing to lose.
“They are going to work hard every shift and the imports they have are very good and will give us another big test.
“There is no real pressure on them and that is the worst kind of team to play. We have to give them a lot of respect.”