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Callum ‘Mad Dog’ Pattison has targeted a strong end to the season after he became the first Steeldogs player to re-sign for next season’s roster.

The 23-year-old defender, who joined from Whitley Warriors in August, was tipped to be a big player for the future by Steeldogs head coach Andre Payette this week and Pattison himself insists there is much more to come from him.

The brawler was brought in at the start of the season to ‘stick up for his team mates’ and Pattison believes that he has given the fans what they have wanted to see.

“It’s been pretty good since I joined and I’m happy with how it has turned out,” Pattison told Grass Roots.

“There’s much more to come and I am happy to have got a deal sorted out to stay here.

“I genuinely believe I have given the fans what they have wanted to see all year, I don’t mind a fight and hockey fans, who come and watch the Steeldogs, always get what they want.

“All I’m focusing on now is to continue impressing in training and help us finish as high up the table as possible.”

Tonight’s game will suit Pattison right down to the ground as Steeldogs prepare to go head-to-head with table -topping Manchester Phoenix at iceSheffield (7:30pm).

Steeldogs have won the last two fixtures against their bitter-rivals and victory tonight will result in both teams sharing the spoils with three wins apiece over the course of the season.

Payette described tonight’s opponents as their ‘measuring stick’ and believes sharing the spoils would show just how far his side have come this season: “We have got some huge games coming up in the next few weeks and a lot people will realise our benchmark is Manchester.

“It would be a real achievement if we could have a share of the victories, we have to be fully focused and we need to win on Friday because it would hurt their chances of winning the league.”