Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Ed man expects Giants to bounce back

Ed Courtenay is confident that his Belfast Giants players will produce a positive response when they return to Elite League action tonight.

The Giants suffered a heavy defeat in last Sunday's Challenge Cup clash with the Cardiff Devils, going down 7-1 in Wales, one of the worst results during Courtenay's time in charge.

He has, however, seen signs that things are on the up.

"We have had a good week in practice and everyone has worked hard," said Courtenay.

"At least the defeat has come at this time of the season rather than in the middle when you can't explain it.

"I am not trying to make excuses, but we were tired after Saturday night, it is early in the season and we're not used to playing back-to-back games yet.

"It will be different as the season goes on.

"In a way it was good that it was in the Challenge Cup too.

"We have three or four games to try to make up for it, whereas in the league if you lose a game you need to win the next four or five just to get yourself back to where you were because I expect it to be really tight this year."

Todd Kelman will be back in the Giants line-up this evening when Manchester Phoenix come to the Odyssey.

The club's general manager has stepped out of retirement to help ease and injury crisis which has been heightened by the news that Roman Gavailer will be out for a month.

Graeme Walton will undergo a fitness test this morning to judge whether he can make his first appearance of the season.

Also in the defensive unit will be young Scottish player Lewis Christie. He played last weekend and Courtenay has been impressed so far.

After tonight the Giants face a trip to Coventry Blaze tomorrow for what is sure to be an interesting clash.

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