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Raiders coach Easton eager to end five-game losing run and secure a top-four finish

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 March 2018

Raiders forwards Juraj Huska and Jake Sylvester attacking the Milton Keynes goal (Pic: John Scott)

Raiders forwards Juraj Huska and Jake Sylvester attacking the Milton Keynes goal (Pic: John Scott)

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London Raiders head coach Sean Easton desperately wants to finish the National League campaign strongly by cementing fourth spot in the table this weekend.

Raiders coach Sean Easton talking to his squad at Milton Keynes earlier in the season (Pic: John Scott)Raiders coach Sean Easton talking to his squad at Milton Keynes earlier in the season (Pic: John Scott)

The Romford-based club will face seventh-placed outfit Milton Keynes Thunder home and away in their final two league fixtures ahead of the play-offs.

Easton’s men will welcome Lewis Clifford’s side to the Sapphire Ice & Leisure Centre in Romford town centre on Saturday (5.15pm), before travelling to Planet Ice Arena Milton Keynes the following night (6.30pm)

“We want that fourth spot badly, this would give us home ice choice in the first round of the play-offs, and we want to play the second leg at home where we are more comfortable to do want we need to do to win,” he said.

“This weekend is a must-win weekend.”

The Raiders have lost their last five matches, after contrasting defeats at Peterborough and Bracknell last weekend, and Easton says they must end that streak before heading into the post-season, where they will meet the Bracknell Bees.

“We have been on a losing streak recently and it’s not fun, but in that time we have had some great one-goal games against Basingstoke, Peterbourgh and Swindon,” he added.

“We need a winning weekend to set us up for the play-offs.”

The former Chelmsford Chieftains coach revealed it will be no easy task as Thunder has some big-name players like Tom Carlon and Ross Bowers in their line-up.

“Their top-end players to watch are Carlon and Bowers, both come up with big goals and with their size and strength can be hard to manage,” he said. “We have a few injuries at present, but hoping they are back for the weekend.”

Easton is also over the moon with how far his side have come so far this campaign and he felt they would always improve.

“We have developed a vast amount over the season,” he said.

“We were talking the other day about our first game against Basingstoke where we were just chasing shadows and did not compete. Then a couple of weeks ago we led them for 55 minutes before they got the winner.

“I always said that the original NIHL teams would benefit more as we would be the teams that will improve to the higher standards by playing the old EPL teams.”

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