Raiders Cooper says every weekend is important as they bid for play-off spot
PUBLISHED: 09:00 14 February 2020
Everyone Active Raiders defenceman Jack Cooper says they all know every weekend is 'important' as they look to seal a spot in the National League play-offs.
Raiders will welcome Sheffield Steeldogs to the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre for a rare Saturday fixture (5.15pm) before travelling away to Peterborough Phantoms the following night.
They currently sit in the final play-off spot but are just three points ahead of rivals Bracknell Bees going into the weekend.
"Every weekend for us now is so important. We're coming to the end of the season and we need to turn up every weekend if we want to achieve our goal and make the playoffs," the 23-year-old said.
Ben Morgan's Steeldogs are the only team the Raiders have not beaten yet this campaign and the former Romford junior believes that will add extra motivation.
"It adds to the motivation to win every game as they are the only team we have not beaten.
"I feel like we have been playing really well lately so I believe if we keep to the way we are playing then we will be alright.
"They play hard and fast and they have been really productive on their PP against us.
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"I feel like they outworked us at times and that's what gave them the edge over us this season."
Sean Easton's men have struggled at Peterborough this term but Cooper insists it's best not to think too much about past fixtures.
"I think it's best not to think about how a team is playing or not playing when we go into a game.
"It doesn't matter if a team is on a 10 game win streak or haven't won a game all year, we just need to stick to what we have been training and the systems Sean wants us to play.
"There's no denying that Peterborough are a good well organised team and are tough to beat on home ice but we have done it before and I believe we can do it again."
It remains a question whether defenceman Dan Scott could return to the line-up after being out since January, 11, when he picked up an injury in their 5-3 defeat to Peterborough Phantoms.
Defenceman Callum Wells also remains suspended having two of his six game ban that he picked up during a melee away to Basingstoke Bison on February, 1.
"It's safe to say we haven't had the best of luck this season regarding injuries, but the way the team has pulled together and worked for each other has been unreal.
"We have had forwards playing defence, guys putting in serious minutes on the ice every game, it's been a tough battle."