Braehead Clan head coach John Tripp makes no bones about it, this evening’s against Dundee Stars is a must-win for his tea.

The Glasgow side are currently in eighth place in the EIHL but with things tight towards the bottom of the table, Tripp is in no doubt that a victory is vital. “This is a very important game for us – it’s a must-win so that we can increase the gap between us and ninth and tenth place in the league,” he said. “ But I’m feeling good about the game – we always have good games against Dundee but they did win the last one in Glasgow so we have to be mindful of that. We’ve shown that when we play smart and hard, we can beat big teams so that’s what we’re going for.”

A significant positive is for the Clan, who have been plagued by injuries all season, is that Mike Gutwald, Tyler Shattock and Craig Peacock are all back to full fitness having spent a spell on the sidelines.

Braehead are currently on a three match losing streak, with defeats last weekend to both Coventry Blaze away and Nottingham Panthers in a tight loss at home disappointing but Tripp is confident that his men can make a return to winning ways tonight. “Mentally, the guys were down,” he said. “But we finished the weekend strong and after Sunday’s game against Nottingham, we felt a little better. We really missed a good chance to coming closer to solidifying that last play-off spot, so that was a pity. But sport is a mental thing and these guys have been pretty strong so far this season so we’ve just got to continue with that.”

Three of the four play-off spots have been claimed but the fourth and final one is still available and Tripp is hopeful that his team can pout a good run together and make a real push for it. “That final play-off place is still up for grabs,” he said. “But nothing is going to come for free – no one is going to give us anything and that’s why this weekend is so important. We have three home games in a row now and so it’s important that we pick up some points over the next couple of weeks.”