Racing looking for consistency for big 2023 dates

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Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles coach Xavier de Grève says his side need to hit top form in the second half of the club season in pursuit of their twin EHL and Belgian playoff targets.

They ended the first half of the season in fourth place in the Ion Hockey League, in contention for the playoff places but 11 points off leaders Royal Léopold.

Racing will also meet Pinoké in the EHL Men’s FINAL8 on April 6 in the Wagener Stadium and de Grève – an EHL winning coach with Waterloo Ducks in 2019 – knows it is a big task to manage when the outdoor season restarts in March.

“Our results were uneven so far; we did the job against the small sides or the mid-ranking teams,” he said to the Ion Hockey League website. “Against the biggest teams, we will have to increase our level. The two games against Léo and Gantoise hurt us.

“We will have to have a peak of form for the EHL and the playoffs. These are our two objectives for the second half of the season. We will work hard to achieve these goals.

“We have to improve after our transitions, know what we are doing with the ball at that time.”

Goalkeeper Jeremy Gucassof agreed, saying: “If I had to rate our first round, it would be 7/10. The inconsistency is clearly our point to improve with a level of play offered that varies too much from one weekend to another. After a good start, we experienced a real setback against Gantoise and Léo with 12 goals conceded.

“We were also unlucky in terms of injuries since we had to deal with an often very full infirmary!

“Our last victory against Watducks, as well as the one against the Dragons, allowed us to finish the first round on good notes and especially in the top four.

“We inevitably have points to improve but we remain a difficult team to handle and we have key players capable of making the difference in each match!”