PAISLEY PIRATES player-coach Ian Turley says last week’s SNL loss to Aberdeen Lynx has opened his team’s eyes to their expectations this season.
The Pirates went down 5-4 in the North East going into this weekend’s only game of the weekend – an Autumn Cup Semi Final 1st leg home tie with current holders Edinburgh Capitals.
And Turley insists his team go into the last four clash in confident mood following a good week of practice.
He said: “We simply didn’t compete in Aberdeen last week. Although we lost the game there were positives to take from it and that kind of loss this early on highlights the expectations of what it means to play for the Pirates.
We’ve got great character in our dressing room and finished our mid-week practice firing on all cylinders raring to go on Sunday.
“Looking ahead, I’d agree that we are the underdogs due to recent form shown by the Capitals and let’s not forget that they are the current holders.
“We’ve won our two home games so far and we’ve had two entertaining games. Hopefully that level of consistency will play a part in Sunday’s game.
“Overall, the crowds have been increasing recently and I feel this is because the league as a whole is improving.
“More and more hockey fans are realising they can go and watch games with British trained players which are exciting and great value for money.”
Edinburgh Capitals got past Solway Sharks in the quarter final to reach this stage of the tournament, beating them 15-5 on aggregate.
Paisley Pirates eliminated Kilmarnock Storm over two legs, winning 5-2 and 8-2 (13-4) with both games played at The Galleon.
A place in the final against Dundee Tigers is at stake, after the Tayside men knocked out city rivals, Dundee Comets in their semi final last week.
For Paisley, defeating a team going as well as the Caps is a difficult ask, when you consider the Murrayfield men have a 100% record in the SNL.
This is only part one though, with the second leg scheduled for Sunday 29th November – three weeks from now.
However Edinburgh’s head coach Scott Neil insists his team aren’t looking at themselves as the favourites and believes the Pirates have got better.
He said: “I don’t think we have extra pressure on ourselves as there are many good teams in the SNL and we are playing away against an improved Paisley team.
“We are not going into the game thinking of ourselves as favourites and our guys know Paisley is a good team and we expect nothing less than a tough match.
“A number of our Academy players are also not available for the game so we will be short of some experience and quality and therefore there is no room for complacency.
“Paisley have a strong, experienced side and have caused many problems in the past so we expect tough games both in the League and Cups.”