Don’t blame our bosses, says Sheffield Steelers’ skipper

Sheffield Steelers players won’t accept recent criticism of their coaches - whether the disapproval comes from the club’s own fans or not.

A small minority made barbed on-line comments recently about Paul Thompson and Darrell Hay as the pair wrestled with their team’s inconsistency.

Jonathan Phillips after scoring against Cardiff Devils on Wednesday

Jonathan Phillips after scoring against Cardiff Devils on Wednesday

But captain Jonathan Phillips, whose team travel to Cardiff Devils tonight, thinks it is unfair to target the bench bosses.

“At the end of the day it is a team, it’s not the coaches or the players, its coaches, players, the club...it’s everything.

“We are the Sheffield Steelers. We win together, we lose together.

“From our perspective, Darrell and Thommo have been excellent this year and they have given us all the tools we’ve needed, all the advice. They can only say or do so much.

“It is up to us to put the consistent runs together.”

Phillips, who was one of a couple of Steelers’ players who were elbowed in the face by Devils players in Wednesday’s iceSheffield win over the Welsh, said the victory had instilled confidence back into the side.

“”We would be the first to admit we haven’t been playing great” he said.

“We have been very inconsistent; we weren’t happy with that.

“The win solidifies us as a team and hopefully puts us back on track to where we were a month or six weeks ago.”

The forward said the players had to prepare fully for the travel involved this weekend - Cardiff on Saturday night, and then back to face Braehead Clan on Sunday. “We have got to be mentally on our game.

“It is a tough travel, but we should be used to that, it’s not as if we’ve ever had to do that and we just need to bear down and focus and maybe just simplify our game - I think that has been our problem so far.

“We have been trying to play like we do in the Arena on a Saturday night (away from home) and we can’t do that we have got to keep things simple and play to our strengths.”

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