Darrell Hay has no intention of re-creating the early season form his Sheffield Steelers club showed against Nottingham Panthers last year.
The two British ice hockey giants meet for the first time this season on Saturday at Sheffield Arena.
And while Sheffield won the League last year, they dipped in five out of the first six games against their old rivals in 2014-15.
Hay, who has swapped his playing shirt for an assistant coaching role at the Arena, is desperate to see his team continue their present winning form this year, against Panthers. Recalling last season, he said: “Early on in the year they kind of took it to us.
“We really didn’t get anything going. It wasn’t until after Christmas or half way through that we started to get a bit of momentum.
“I thought they played with a lot more grit and intensity in those games but at the end of the year we found way to get some wins” said the former defenceman.
“It is a great rivalry; there are some (new) guys who haven’t been part of it and not been privy to, they will get their eyes opened here because it is one of the best derbies in any league or any country.
“They (Notts) are playing well, we are playing well. It is a clash of two really good teams and it is coming down to who wants to work the hardest, battle hardest.”
Hay said it was no secret that the two clubs had a dislike of each others.
“When I got here last year you sort of wondered about it. First tine you step on the ice and you see the crowd here and their crowd that comes out its huge, it’s intense...it is a war.
“You are not just representing Sheffield Steelers, you are representing the city of Sheffield. I think we carry that very highly. We don’t like being accused of not giving a complete effort and I think that is what we are going to prepare the guys for going in.”
Hay has enjoyed his rookie year as an assistant coach, so far.
“Working with Paul obviously helps a lot. He’s been around a long time. He makes it quite clear what my responsibilities are and what he wants from me.”