Widnes Wild General Manager Wez Spurett is aiming for a playoff spot as his side moves into the business stage of their NIHL Division 1 North campaign.
Widnes are fifth in the league, level on points with fourth-placed Scimitars after 16 league games.
The top four sides in the league make the post-season playoffs and with a fourth-place finish still very much in sight, Spurett is confident his side can clinch a playoff spot.
He said: “100%, that was our goal the start of this year after we sat down and thought where we realistically want to be.
“Our milestones change along the way, we started off [saying} we want to create a competitive team.
“Before you know it, we’ve not built a team just to be competitive, we’ve built a team to challenge.”
Spurett added: “We fully believe that the players we’ve got and the commitment that they are giving, there is no reason we shouldn’t be making the playoffs.”
Spurett was mad General Manager in April 2021 having previously being team manager.
He discussed what his management philosophy is and how he’s tried to implement his style during his time at the club.
He said: “We work on defence first to make sure we clear our zone, making sure we’re not spending too much time giving the team possession in the danger areas.
“Then from there using the speed that we have to try and break into the zone quickly and catch them off guard.
“We built our team really to tailor our rink and take advantage of our home rink but having said that we need to make sure we’re prepared to play at other rinks.
“I think our style of play is pretty robust in terms of defence first and break out using our speed.”
Looking ahead to Widnes’ next game this Sunday away to Nottingham Lions, Spurett is anticipating a tough encounter, despite the Lions currently sitting bottom of the league.
He said: “Mentally we’re gearing up and getting ready for what we’re expecting to be a very tough game.
“Any team can beat any team in this league, so we expect a tough game, we’d love to guarantee we’ll come home with the win but we can only do that if we play the full 60 minutes.
“They are confident at the moment, they are full of young talent and are well-coached.”
— YKK Widnes Wild (@WidnesWild) February 3, 2022
Wild have also caused some major upsets to make the Moralee Cup Final, which is a two-legged affair later this month against Dundee Comets.
Widnes defeated current league leaders Solway Sharks over two legs, the standout victory in their impressive and unexpected run to the final.
Spurett admitted his side has the final firmly in their thoughts despite preparation currently being focused on their league campaign.
He said: “We would be lying if we said we hadn’t thought about it but we can’t physically prepare for it just yet because of the number of fixtures we’ve got in between but I’m excited.
“All the players seem to have the mentality of there’s a long week to get there yet but when we get there, we’re excited for it.
“Cup finals don’t come around that often and you can’t guarantee you’ll win them all but it’s nice that we’re in this position. We certainly can’t just lay back and accept the job is done just because we got there despite all odds.
“We’ve got the opportunity to prove people wrong, we’re looking to go that one step further and come home with the win.”
(Featured image by Ant Stonelake, for Merseysportlive)