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Swindon Wildcats star wary of wounded Tigers
SWINDON'S Joe Baird reckons Telford will be an improved proposition on Sunday after the Shropshire outfit made a double transfer swoop this week.
With their play-off hopes fading fast, the Tigers have moved to bolster their chances of making up a 10-point gap on eighth-placed Sheffield by recruiting former players Scott McKenzie and Juraj Senko.
McKenzie has arrived from Manchester looking to recreate an impressive run of form he had while at the club in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons, during which time he played 106 games, scoring 55 goals and getting 65 assists in the process.
While Slovakian Senko has in the past played on D, he has been signed as a forward as Telford aim to improve their scoring total of a meagre 46 goals in 23 matches.
And experienced defenceman Baird believes Wildcats must be wary of the threat posed by the Tigers, who have just four wins to their name so far this season.
“I’d imagine they (the new signings) would improve their team quite a bit,” he said.
“McKenzie has been around for a while and he certainly knows where the net is and Senko will do a half-decent job.
“An extra player in a team gives other players a rest, so they gain from it.
“Telford have quite a low budget so the quality of their players might be less than other teams, but they have taken points off good teams this year and are dangerous on their own rink.
“They have a good goalie this season as well, all they need is a little bit of offence.
“It's all about team performance and a willingness to do what it takes to win, any bunch of players can win games.”
Meanwhile, forward Lee Richardson is set for a scan on the knee injury he picked up at Sheffield 10 days ago, but looks set for a sustained period on the sidelines.
Forward Jamie Hayes is unlikely to feature in Swindon's final league and cup game of 2012/13 this weekend, while Swindon head coach Ryan Aldridge once again faces a choice between in-form netminder Dean Skinns and Tom Murdy, the latter of which has recently returned to fitness.
Paul Swindlehurst is still away with Great Britain Under 20s at the World Championships in Ukraine (Division 1B) so remains unavailable.
Swindlehurst and his teammates thumped Croatia 4-0 at Ice Palace Druzhba yesterday, with Luke Ferrara (2), Jack Musil and Matthew Selby on the scoresheet.
Swindlehurst served penalties for interference and tripping during the game but still played a major part in the clean sheet. GB are next in action against Italy tomorrow (11am GMT), with their final match of the tournament against Kazakhstan on Sunday (1.30pm GMT).
WILDCATS fans can buy one ticket and get one free if they make the trip to Telford on Sunday.
To qualify, email Tigers chairman Alan Gould at firstname.lastname@example.org stating your name and that of your fellow fan. The cheaper ticket will be the one that is free.
All emails must be received by 6am tomorrow.
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