Marsden out to make sure of top-four play-off berth in weekend double header against Beeston and Cannock

Wimbledon men’s hockey coach Ben Marsden is confident of securing a play-off spot ahead of his side’s tough double header this weekend.

His side squandered a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3 at home to Now: Pension Men’s Premier Division leaders Surbiton last Saturday.

A win would have sealed their spot in the top four but the draw leaves them level with Saturday’s third-placed opponents Beeston and four behind the leaders on 28 points.

“We want to have a successful weekend and I think the mindset is if we take care of the things we can control, then we should reach that top-four status,” he said.

“It’s an exciting challenge for us as we lost to Beeston earlier on in the season.

“We feel like we’re in a different place as a group now, we feel very positive as a unit moving into the game and in particular given our last few performances, so we’re just excited by the challenge.”

Marsden also takes his side into Saturday’s game knowing they could be drawn together in the play-offs at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in April.

“We know we’re potentially going to meet them at some point over the finals weekend but it’s just a big game like any other so we’re going to approach it as we do any other game,” he said.

“We have spoken a bit about their strengths but as a club, and this has been our motto all season, we just focus on our game and control what we can do well and have faith that our game plan will get us through the game.

“They’re a good set up and a strong side but we feel that given our current form and where we are as a group now we are able to match that.”

Marsden is taking nothing for granted despite the fact Sunday’s opponents Cannock are currently lying eighth in the table and could be occupying one of the relegation spots by the time the match starts.

“I think it makes them more dangerous,” he added.

“They’re fighting relegation and any team that has their backs against the wall can always deliver performances.

“We’ve been putting in additional running sessions for the group to try and replicate double header weekends for three weeks so we feel like our preparation has been good.”

Feature image of Wimbledon’s Phil Roper

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