Sheffield Steelers ‘will regain top spot’ from Nottingham Panthers

Phil Hill
Phil Hill
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Phil Hill says his Steelers team let 500 travelling Sheffield fans down in last weekend’s heavy defeat at Coventry Blaze - but knows they can make up for it on Saturday.

Steelers take on Nottingham Panthers at the Arena in the 100th meeting there between the two Elite League giants. It is the latest ‘must-win’ game if Steelers are to be seen as potential title winners.

Hill said: “When questions have been asked of this team this year we have answered them. We have had a couple of heavy defeats but after the loss in Nottingham (7-2, Nov 8) we bounced back and went on a good winning run that took us to the top of the league. Coventry was disappointing. Not one of us played our best game. We see and feel the disappointment. We saw 500 Steeler fans who had travelled down and knew we’d let them down. That hurts us. None of us like that feeling.

“We do know, though, that we are a good side. We have good players that can beat any other team in this league when we all work hard and play well together. We could use the argument that other than the first game of the season in Cardiff I don’t think we have played at full strength all year” said Hill.

“Injuries are an excuse all sporting teams could use but look at what we have had to deal with.

“From losing a player for a season, hands, knees injuries are weekly occurrences for us. Even if guys play the weekend that doesn’t mean they have trained all week. Guys have had to rest just to make the weekend. That’s happened a fair bit this year to date.

“We have had our issues this week as well with knocks and guys having to rest. It’s unfortunate, its not what we want but we play they hand we are dealt.

“Nottingham I am sure have had their issues, we all get them. It’s how you respond and cope with them that matters. We will be ready come 7pm on Saturday. The Panthers have gone top and we as Steelers don’t want to see that at all. The 18 of us are the people that can stop them being top come 10pm and that’s what we intend to do.”