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Walser is urging his Giants to lay down a marker for play-off bid

By Stuart McKinley

Derrick Walser believes facing the newly-crowned Elite League champions is the perfect way for his Belfast Giants team to prepare for an assault on the Play-off title.

This weekend's double-header against the Cardiff Devils was a potential league title decider, but Cardiff's hot form - including back-to-back wins in Belfast last month - saw them wrap up their success last weekend.

Walser isn't interested in getting into talk about spoiling the Devils' party and neither is he prepared to let his players ease off in the last league games of the season.

Instead, his focus is on maintaining standards with silverware still up for grabs over the next couple of weeks.

"We want to go into Cardiff and compete," said Walser. "We still need a point to make sure of second place and we want to achieve that. It will be tough, I am in no doubt about that. Cardiff won't just come to show up, they'll be wanting to keep winning.

"They have already won the Challenge Cup and they'll want the Conference too, but we can still take the Conference so we'll be using that as an incentive.

"We have to go in with confidence and I think the fact that we're playing the top team in the league is great for us. We want tough games that will give us an edge. We can't take nights off.

"Once you get into a position where you think you can flick a switch you start to get into bad habits and if we let that happen it could be hard to pick it up next weekend in important games."

The Giants have won six of their last seven games and Walser is desperate to maintain that form as he seeks to make the Play-off title the Giants' first trophy in three seasons.

And he is determined not to let anything influence the locker room as things come to a climax.

"There might be some players around the league already thinking about going home, but what I have been saying to the players is that we have three weeks left and let's keep working," said Walser.

Belfast Telegraph

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