Blue stay upbeat

KIRK PENTON -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:55 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are not going to let Saturday night's loss to the B.C. Lions in their regular-season finale get them down.

They wanted a home playoff game, but they don't seem too concerned about going on the road to take on the Toronto Argonauts in the East Division semifinal next Sunday.

"We're good," first-year Bombers head coach Doug Berry said yesterday. "We'll have the right attitude going into this week.

"We would've liked to have played this next one at home, but nobody's crying over this spilled milk because we have to go to Toronto.

"We're prepared to play on the road."

The Bombers finished the regular season with a 9-9 record, which included a 5-4 mark away from Canad Inns Stadium, the site of this year's Grey Cup. They also won two of three games against the Argos, including their lone meeting at Rogers Centre in July.

"We would've liked to play in the cold," Bombers right guard Mike Abou-Mechrek said. "I can't believe I just said that, but we really want to play in the cold. We practise in minus-10-degree weather every day, and the other two East teams are practising indoors at probably plus-20.

"So that would've been a huge advantage, but we can beat Toronto. We beat them two out of three times, we beat them in their park, and we can definitely do it again."

Safety Kyries Hebert said Saturday's 26-16 loss to the Lions, during which the Bombers lost starting quarterback Kevin Glenn to an ankle injury, doesn't represent a step back going into the post-season.

"There's nothing crappy about going into the playoffs," Hebert said. "We're in the playoffs. There's nothing negative about this."

On the other hand, slotback Milt Stegall believes Saturday's showing wasn't nearly good enough for a playoff squad. He added that the Bombers cannot rest on the laurels of their road record or their 2-1 mark against the Argos, either.

"We're going to a ... I won't say Toronto's a hostile environment. All those people in Toronto don't even know what the CFL is," Stegall quipped. "But we have to go in there and play a good game if we plan on winning.

"If we want to continue playing, we can't have a performance like this next week."

The Bombers need to win two road games -- in Toronto and in Montreal against the East Division-winning Alouettes on Nov. 12 -- if they're going to play for a championship in their own park.

"It would've been nice to play for the fans here, but that'll just have to wait until a couple weeks later," Berry said.


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