Sheffield Steelers boss shrugs off social media snipes after Cardiff Devils calamity- but the serious work starts again at Nottingham Panthers
Coach Paul Thompson says he accepts the barrage of social media insults after his team's Challenge Cup exit at Cardiff Devils.
Some fans called for his head after Sheffield lost a 6-2 first leg lead to collapse 7-1 in Wales, to miss out on the chance of playing in the Final.
One Cardiff-based keyboard comic superimposed a picture of Thompson’s head on a tramp on a park bench with the caption: “The only bench Thomo will be trusted with next season!”
Thompson laughed that off, saying: “We are used to the abuse, it’s part of the job.
“We deserved the criticism - we had put ourselves in a great position yet froze and failed to get the job done.
“We’d needed to roll up our sleeves but we were too afraid of NOT getting through and didn’t battle enough against an outstanding, full-strength team who had twice as many Power Plays, which is always the way in Cardiff.
“But I don’t get involved in social media wars.
“Sometimes these people see us as Brazil, the next Accrington Stanley. It’s the way of the world now.
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“If I took on board everything that was written I would be in a psychiatric ward.
“There isn’t a team in the League that wouldn’t miss the four forwards that were absent from our line-up at Cardiff - it was a huge chunk of our offence - but that in itself was no excuses for the way we lost.”
Thompson said he had “never witnessed a dressing room so low in all my years as a coach” after Steelers’ horror show on Wednesday.
“They were devastated. The fans should know that. Nobody spoke for three hours.
“But it’s my job now to close the door on that night and get back on the run we’d been enjoying.”
His task also includes propping up the confidence of the defence after conceding 14 goals in the last two games and re-igniting the offence, which will be without Fretter, Armstrong, Dowd and Jamtin at Nottingham Panthers on Saturday.
“It is time we go back to work” said the Steelers boss, whose side has won twice at Nottingham this season.