Mel Mansfield expects Severn Stars to provide the ideal test for Wasps Netball this weekend ahead of their Vitality Netball Superleague semi-final later this month.
The league leaders travel to Worcester to take on West Midlands rivals Stars on Saturday 4 May (6pm centre-pass).
It will mark the final game of the Superleague regular season - with Wasps guaranteed to finish in first position after 18 games.
Stars come into the fixture in good form, winning four of their last six games, and will be looking to end their season on a high and secure a sixth-place finish.
Mansfield, who has guided Wasps to a third consecutive play-off berth in her first season as Head Coach, believes the match is an ideal challenge for her team ahead of the semi-finals.
“This is going to be a tough game for us and it really is the perfect test for the team as we prepare for our semi-final,” said Mansfield.
“In terms of points and league position it isn’t a crucial game for us, but it is hugely important in terms of momentum.
“We want to go into the semi-final in winning form and at the top of our game. We’ve won six in a row and we are looking to keep that run going.
“Stars have registered some good wins against top teams in recent weeks. They are a quality side who have had a great season so we can’t afford to take our foot off the pedal in this game.”
Wasps have already secured their home semi-final, which will be played on Saturday 11 May (5pm centre-pass) at the University of Warwick’s new Sports and Wellness Hub.
Their opponents will be confirmed after this weekend’s fixtures, with all games getting underway at 6pm across the country on Saturday evening.
Mansfield says the team have already been preparing for whichever team they face and the Stars match will provide an opportunity to test different combinations.
She said: “We have been working on combinations that will benefit us in certain match-ups come the semi-final.
“This fixture will give us a chance to try those combinations and make sure they are ready for when we need them.
“To have all the games taking place at the same time is really exciting for the league, especially with some of the top-four spots still up for grabs.
“Our goal all season has been to improve game-on-game, so we will be looking to put in an improved performance from last Friday against Sirens.
“We will be looking to make a strong start to the game, win each quarter and maintain that performance throughout.”
For ticket information about Wasps Netball’s Vitality Netball Superleague semi-final go to www.waspsnetball.co.uk