Things haven't just picked up overnight, for Sheffield Steelers, says boss

The Deveaux episode didn't help the team. Picture by Hayley Roberts
The Deveaux episode didn't help the team. Picture by Hayley Roberts

Steelers coach Paul Thompson doesn't share the view that his side have suddenly entered a new phase, after impressive wins over high-flying Cardiff Devils and Belfast Giants.

The manner of those victories perhaps suggested the team was embarking on a new level of play, despite injuries.

But the coach said: "I don't think it's about those two games, it's been coming for the past two months or so.

"I don't just go on results, the performances are what matter to me.

"We have been incredible at times. We have been playing really well.

"And I don't know of any other team that could have done what we have without players who were one, two and three in team scoring.

"In practice they have been working hard and doing what is required."

Thompson said it had been a roller-coaster season and the brief tenure of Andre Deveaux "disrupted us.

"That is nothing against him, but we were not in the right place, then."

The coach expects Nottingham Panthers - visitors to the Sheffield Arena tomorrow- to be a "wounded animal" after losing the first leg of their Challenge Cup semi final against Belfast Giants, on Wednesday.

"We have got to be ready for that" he said.