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SWINDON WILDCATS: Hoog urges Wildcats to stay focused
JONAS Hoog has warned his Wildcats teammates that if they expect Sheffield to roll over tomorrow then they can think again.
Swindon handed out a 5-0 drubbing to Andre Payette’s men at iceSheffield on Tuesday as they notched up their biggest winning margin of the season.
That dealt a huge blow to the Steeldogs’ hopes of making the EPL play-offs and fuelled the argument of both Wildcats players and management that their campaign has turned a corner.
Nevertheless, Swedish forward Hoog, the league's leading points scorer with 17 goals and 29 assists, believes that Sheffield will be a different proposition when they arrive at the Link Centre tomorrow (5.45pm).
“Of course we were really pleased with the result on Tuesday, especially in that building because it's pretty tough to go there,” he said.
“I tried to do my thing and I was able to score some points, but it's easy to play with these guys and I think the performance of the whole team was really good.
“It's a new game on Saturday and they will come harder at us then, so we need to step up when we play at home.
“I think Sheffield will play better, they won't want to come to us and get beaten 5-0 again, so we'll have to play a little bit better ourselves. I hope there is more to come from us.”
Netminder Dean Skinns, who took the Wildcats man of the match award for his shutout on Tuesday, echoed Hoog's sentiments.
Skinns also revealed he would like the team to continue shooting freely, as that was a tactic he felt worked well against the Steeldogs.
He said: “Sheffield is a really tough place to play and it was great we got the result, but I'm sure they will be fired up to get their own back on us.
“(Being clinical) is the way we have to play. I think sometimes maybe we look to be a bit too skilled around the net and look for the extra pass, but on Tuesday we didn't really do that.
“We put the puck on net and the puck went in. You can shoot from anywhere in the rink and maybe that's what the boys need to start focusing on - putting pucks on net and hoping for the best.”
Swindon's current run of fixtures might be pitting them against teams down the lower end of the table, but Skinns is adamant that the received wisdom of 'no easy games' holds true in the EPL.
“Although at the moment we’re playing teams below us in the league, you can't take any team lightly,” he said. “Going to Telford in a week is going to be even tougher (than Sheffield) because they are playing really well at home at the moment.”
Nicky Watt and Jamie Hayes both miss out this weekend while Lee Richardson is an injury doubt.
Paul Swindlehurst and Sheffield duo Jonathan Kirk and Andre Payette (player-coach) are all absent due to GB Under 20s duty.