Clark is waiting in the wings

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SHEFFIELD Steelers’ coach Ryan Finnerty is probably not Neil Clark’s favourite person.

Finnerty has dropped the Canadian forward from the last four Elite League games as he tries to find a consistently successful formula for his side.

“Nobody would be happy with being left out,” accepts the player coach.

“But Clarky’s attitude has been great; he helps out on the bench and is ready to go if the call comes.

“The problem is the nature of the line-up, he is a proper left winger rather than a centre, and we have Colt King in that position, and it would be tough to remove Kinger. The line up dictates how we play and I am reluctant to change things. I accept it is a tough situation for him.

“This sort of situation happens back home (north America) but you don’t expect it here. To be honest I’d expected a few (import) injuries but we have stayed healthy. That has not helped Neil, but he has stayed a positive influence, there’s been no sulking.”

Finnerty said there was ‘no chance’ of Clark stepping down a league to play for Sheffield Steeldogs.

But, for the skater, it is all very different from the Championship-winning season of last year, when Clark ended up being the club’s fourth top scorer, playing 60 games (69 points.) Clark is unlikely to face Dundee Stars, on Sunday.