Video: Sheffield Steelers can end their miserable season on a high by re-discovering their old spirit and fight, says Les Millie

Les Millie played on a memorable Sheffield Steelers' line which took no prisoners.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 17th January 2019, 9:11 am
Updated Thursday, 17th January 2019, 9:14 am
The original Steelers line of Tommy Plommer, Tim Cranston and Les Millie.
The original Steelers line of Tommy Plommer, Tim Cranston and Les Millie.

His unit with Tommy Plommer and Tim Cranston mirrored the cultural identity of the club. Gritty, uncompromising and energetic, they'd buzz around the Arena like demented wasps.

Small in stature, perhaps, - but incredibly intense. Born winners, all.

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Millie agrees the present-day team "lacks an edge" adding: "They need to play with a chip on their shoulders." It was that plucky style of play that made "the Steelers team that we were, in the past"he says.

The retired Scottish winger, though, isn't ruling out a late rally as Steelers - who released three imports this week - try and build some momentum towards the Play Offs, starting with this weekend's fixtures with Milton Keynes Lightning.

Millie, who had two successful spells at Steelers (1992-6 and 2003-5,) recognises why coach Tom Barrasso felt he needed to shed staff. "It is about winning. A winning mentality that has always been there; it is in our DNA. And I am sure at one point they will find a way back to that."

The original Steelers line of Tommy Plommer, Tim Cranston and Les Millie.

He said the team was still a work in progress under Barrasso. "He is the guy to lead it for now. So all I'm saying is keep faith in the guy, keep faith in the club, keep faith in the team. And they will get there eventually."

History will mark this season down as one of transition. "A hell of a lot of new players came in at the beginning of the season, it was going to be a process where the guys needed time to gel and it didn't quite work under Paul (Thompson) unfortunately.

"Tom has come in (and) injected a little more energy into it. Obviously, a new coach coming into the team, guys will want to step up their game, they want to impress... they want to keep their jobs."

'Laser' Les said people had to learn there was more competition in the EIHL than previous years; there was no glaring gap in quality between top and bottom teams.

Les Millie at iceSheffield this week.

He said there would always be blips at clubs - suggesting not all Nottingham Panthers' fans were happy with their lot right now.

"You can't constantly win all of the time because there are that many good teams and good players out there." But he said the team could benefit from being underdogs, should they qualify for the Play Offs. "What they do is they underestimate you. They think it's a foregone conclusion. I am sure that every guy that pulls on a Steelers sweater gives 100%. Everybody wants to be at the top of their game."

"Given a run of games you never knew what could happen. "Get that confidence back up in the dressing room again, guys are working hard for each other, the smiles are on their faces again, it gives that atmosphere that pushes guys on to go that little bit extra.

"I can see them doing it, there is no reason why not."