CH1 preview: Gateshead v Hemel (Sun)

Gateshead Thunder coach Kevin Neighbour has urged his squad to go out with a bang as they prepare for their final game of 2013.

Thunder have shown real improvement in the last three months and Neighbour, who will leave the club after Sunday’s game, is desperate to finish with a win.

He said: “It’s been a year of change and progress, and the lads spoke on Tuesday about rounding the year off well.

“After putting together a string of performances and really developing some belief over the last 10 weeks, that’s how they want to finish.”

On Hemel Stags, Neighbour added: “They’ve done very well in their first year. Quite a large part of their team has been together for a few years and that’s really worked in their favour.

“You want a core of lads that will take you forward and I’m sure they’ll get better next year.”

Chad Sharp remains sidelined for the Stags, who are also missing Eddie Mbaraga (knee).

Hemel coach Troy Perkins said: “We’ve had a couple of disappointing performances in our last couple of games.

“We’ve got to get back to winning ways and put in a really solid performance heading into the play-offs.”

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