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Sheffield Steelers' Phillips expects intensity levels to rise in Budapest

HITTING BACK: Captain Jonathan Phillips insists Great Britain can bounce back positively from their defeat to Kazakhstan. Picture: Dean Woolley.
HITTING BACK: Captain Jonathan Phillips insists Great Britain can bounce back positively from their defeat to Kazakhstan. Picture: Dean Woolley.
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GREAT BRITAIN captain Jonathan Phillips predicts an "intense battle" with World Championship rivals Poland when the two clash in Hungary on Wednesday.

Both teams go into the match on the same points after two games, both beating pre-tournament favourites Slovenia. Poland hold a slight advantage over Pete Russell's team as they enjoy the slightly better goal difference, GB's cause not helped by their heavy 6-1 defeat to Kazakhstan on Tuesday.

Over the years, GB and Poland have met regularly with all encounters being close affairs, leading Sheffield Steelers' forward Phillips - once again handed the 'C' by Russell - to expect a similar battle when the two meet at the Laszlo Papp Sportarena.

"We match up well against Poland," said Phillips. "We always have great games with them. It will be an intense battle and we know they will come out hard, but we are ready for the fight.

""There is no shame in losing to Kazakhstan and I didn't think it was a 6-1 game. I felt we had periods where we more than matched them, so we can take plenty of positives."

Phillips's former Steelers' team-mate Luke Ferrara - now at Coventry Blaze - was GB's sole scorer against a highly-skilled Kazakhstan team, but believes he and his colleagues showed enough quality in the defeat to give them confidence going into the clash with Poland.

"It was a very special moment and I won't forget it," said 24-year-old Ferrara. "I wish the goal could have been part of a winning scoreline, but it wasn't meant to be.

"But we have a confident squad and we know we can lift ourselves after this setback. We have already made an impact at this tournament and we want to continue to impress."

ON TARGET: Luke Ferrara gave Great Britain an early lead against Kazakhstan. Picture: Dean Woolley.

ON TARGET: Luke Ferrara gave Great Britain an early lead against Kazakhstan. Picture: Dean Woolley.