The Lions set out on the road today on a "mission" as they travel to meet the as yet unbeaten Blackburn Eagles. For all teams this season this mission has ended in failure so it might appear that the Lions have a real uphill battle at the home of the Eagles.
It is true to say that Player Coach Scott Barnett has put together a formidable squad building on their successful achievement of reaching the 2015/16 Play Off Finals where they met last seasons runaway winners the Deeside Dragons in the semis.
The Nottingham Lions did join in the fun up at Sheffield where they came up against the then Player Coach Scott McKenzie’s Widnes Wild in their semi final.
Both the Lions and the Eagles put up spirited performances but both teams missed out on the final.
All of the 2015/16 season it was nip and tuck between these two teams with the Lions ending the season in 3rd place closely followed by the Eagles in 4th place.
That is, of course, consigned to history and the Eagles have used the off season to add to their team a number of quality players although having a good core of players to work with as well and that has shown in the progress the Eagles are making to date. They are sitting comfortably at the top of the Laidler Conference and brimming with confidence.
Matt Bradbury spoke to nottinghamlions.co.uk "We have to go into Blackburn in the right frame of mind and prepared to do whatever it takes to come away with the points. With only one game this weekend we have to put everything into one big game and leave nothing in the tank!"
"We won't be changing too much to how we played when we lost by one late goal back at the NIC - since that loss we have gone three games unbeaten and that proves how far we have already come in such a short space of time."
"Our style of play is strong and the players are getting stronger and gaining valuable experience every time they step on the ice. Everyone across the organisation are doing a professional job and if we approach the game how we have been training I would like to think we can run Blackburn close."
The Lions definitely have their work cut out to achieve a positive result at the Eagles nest but they go up there knowing that they have the ability, work rate, and the passion required to compete and to complete the job. Everything has to come together on the night as a commitment to sixty minutes of end to end hockey is required and effective use of all of their resources in order to grind out a result.
Last weekend’s hockey saw the Lions away at Coventry Blaze on Saturday returning with a 1-4 win. The Lions were at home against the Bradford Bulldogs on Sunday and achieved their first four point weekend of the season with a 4-0 win.
Face Off tonight in Blackburn is at 5.45pm, we will have end of period updates on twitter - follow: @_TheLionsPride