SHEFFIELD Steelers coach Ryan Finnerty has admitted for the first time that the expensive addition of an extra import can be a draining experience for him and his out-of-sorts Sheffield side.
The club has one more import than is allowed in a match-night squad and Finnerty has had to make big and inevitably unpopular decisions in dropping the likes of Neil Clark, Colt King, Chad Huttel and, before last Saturday’s 5-1 defeat at Nottingham Panthers, the newest recruit to the squad, Nick Duff.
Finnerty, whose side line up tonight against Fife Flyers (8pm), said: “Having an extra import can work against you, it’s tough, there’s no question.
“In many ways it is nice to have the option, but there is always the 50-50 question of whether a change will make the fit better or whether you will get it wrong. Do you go with your gut feeling or your heart? You have to have your best line-up out there and, in hindsight, maybe I should have used Duff at Nottingham, with our defence tired after so
many games. But I talk with all our ‘D’ every day and they were ready to go.”
“Finnerty recognises he has to “be creative” in his choice for tonight’s game, as he hopes to bang in the goals against the
league’s worst club. “We’d have lost to an English National League team last Saturday night and I started to call our Power Play our Power Kill - we have to up our game,” said the coach.
“Things have got a bit stale and we may have to shuffle the lines to spark something.” good.”
Meanwhile, Nottingham’s 5-1 defeat of Sheffield, followed by a 9-0 routing of Edinburgh Capitals, sees them tucked just one point behind second-placed Steelers.
The champions, however, have five games in hand, including tonight’s Fife mission.
The Scots are the bottom club and are on a six game losing streak.
Sheffield are back in action again on Friday when they travel to Braehead Clan. The Scots chalked up a 6-4 win at Coventry Blaze on Sunday, leapfrogging the Midlanders to go into fifth spot.
The victory created a new club record of six straight wins.