Kingstone Press League 1 preview: Coventry Bears v Hemel Stags

Coventry Bears lost 38-10 at Oldham in their second League 1 game but coach Tom Tsang believes his team were better than the score line suggests.

“The performance we put in against Oldham, compared to the first couple of games against them, was certainly an improvement,” he said.

“There wasn’t all that much between the teams although the score line would suggest differently. There were small things that separated the teams and clearly they were good enough to capitalise. If we can iron out those little bits and pieces we shouldn’t be too far away.”

Looking ahead to the challenge of Hemel Stags he said: “There’s a bit of history between the two clubs from the Conference League. Troy (coach Troy Perkins) is a good friend of mine. I think we should be able to go in there with a strong squad. What we are looking to do is make it a difficult place for teams to come to. If we can get another big crowd in that will certainly help us and push us along. I’m pretty confident for a good performance.”

Hemel Stags coach Troy Perkins knows all about Coventry Bears having coached them when they were a Conference side.

“I still have some pretty close ties there,” he said, “And I’ve watched them play over the last couple of years. We played them in a friendly this season so I know what to expect.

“They’re a young team, very enthusiastic and pretty well organised – they may lack a bit of experience but they make up for that in enthusiasm. They’re fit young lads and we’re going to have to be right on our game to get a result.

“We’ve put in two decent performances but we’ve got to build on that this week. There was plenty of good stuff against Keighley and were competitive against a side who are predicted to win it.

“I had nine blokes on the side line who were injured and there were some boys in there who hadn’t played much this season and they held their own. Hopefully we’ll get a few players back this week and that will strengthen us.”

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