Widnes Wild star Richard Hagger has called upon the fans’ unrivalled support to cheer the team to a play-off spot as they face Solihull Barons at Planet Ice on Saturday.
The Yellows lost away from home last weekend to the Blackburn Hawks 6-3. A win this weekend would secure a fifth place finish and give them confidence heading into their play-off game, also against the Solihull Barons, as things stand.
The Wild’s loyal fanbase will certainly be key in getting them through the gruelling fixture at the weekend with top scorer Hagger full of praise for them at this week’s training session.
“We have the best fans in the league without question,” said Hagger. “In defeat last weekend they wouldn’t stop throughout the game and even today at training, you can see for yourself, they just keep going and going.
“We will need them this weekend and we know they’ll be there for us. Today is just a taste of what’s to come.”
Widnes allowed their loyal supporters to watch their preparation for this week’s huge decider in order to build anticipation and confidence for what is shaping up to be a thriller.
Fans of the Wild entered the Planet Ice arena almost 30 minutes before training was set to commence. Almost everyone was wearing the official Widnes Wild jerseys, adding that classic yellow and black feeling to the arena every fan is familiar with.
With roughly 20 fans in attendance to watch the team’s preparation, it certainly felt like more. Die hard fan Luke Howarth, 45, from Widnes has always brought his drum and led the audience in cheering on the Wild as they looked to pick up sharpness.
He said: “I’m just doing my bit as a fan to help support the team. Everyone here knows the importance of Sunday’s game and we’ll do everything we can to give the team confidence going into the playoffs because atmospheres wins’ games.”
The rest of the audience followed Howarth’s lead. They would whistle and celebrate whenever the Widnes players would score, and scream words of encouragement whenever struggle appeared.
One of these vocal supporters was Morgan Evans, 25, from Widnes who was also feeling confident ahead of the weekend.
He said: “We just want our team to win games. It’s the last game of the season and our chance to give the Barons a glimpse of what to expect if we play them in the play-offs.”
With the ice looking as good as ever and the fans doing their bit for the players, the Yellows looked focused in training, slotting away pucks like it was nothing and working brilliantly as a team.
If Widnes can play the way they trained and the fans turn up at the weekend, then they can give the Solihull Barons something to worry about if they meet in the play-offs.
Face-off will take place at 7:00pm Saturday 25 March. Tickets are still available on the official Widnes Wild website.