I CLOSED my diary last week by saying it was too early to tell whether we were title contenders.

We were on a run of wins, and had begun to make up some of the ground we lost after making a poor start to the season.

It’s good to get the points, but I felt our performances lacked the energy and the consistency which had brought us the title last season.

After our performances last weekend against Sheffield and Guildford, I think it’s clear we’ve a long way to go before we can think of ourselves as title contenders.

Just think of how we have played for the last five years when we were building Bison into one of the top teams in the EPL. Fans have flocked to the rink, knowing they had the pleasure of watching a consistently hard-working team. They can go up to the bar after a game and see the trophies and honours we have won and mix with the players. That’s why we’re the best supported sport in Basingstoke.

We talked before the season about how defending a title is, historically, harder than winning it. Perhaps now we need to forget our past successes and concentrate instead on how we achieved them, if we are to enjoy this season.

Even though we won our seventh game on the bounce on Saturday, it was not a good performance, nor was our performance on Sunday when we lost heavily to Guildford.

Our games this weekend are massively important if we want to compete for the first trophy of the season. It looks like a very close call as to who will qualify for the final stages of the Cup.

On a positive note, congratulations to Tomas Karpov who was named the most outstanding international student of his year at Winchester University.