Sheffield Steelers' captain optimistic they can handle swish Swedes this weekend

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Steelers captain Jonathan Phillips expects Sheffield will face an even bigger task this coming weekend than last, when it comes to subduing elite Swedish opponents.

His side beat Leksands 3-2 on Saturday before being on the end of a 7-0 hiding from the same side the following night.

Captain Phillips

Captain Phillips

He said he thought this Saturday's visitors Timra would be a "little stronger and a little quicker" than Leksands.

"They come from the SHL, one of the best league in the world.

"We have just got to stick at what we know and what we do best" he said. "And see what sort of result we can squeak out."

While Sheffield were shut-out in the penalty-strewn Sunday game, Phillips has seen enough to have confidence in the forwards being more lethal than last year's offensive lines.

"I think there are a lot of skilled guys out there.

"A lot of guys who like to shoot and I think we have got a good mixture of hard work and skill."

But the main thing from training camp wasn't the wins and losses, he said.

"The result is not the big thing here, for pre-season.

"It is just finding your feet and that chemistry and learning the new systems."

Phillips was, yet again, a high-achiever in the sports science fitness tests this pre-season, despite turning 36 last month.

He said he enjoyed and took pride in his fitness regime.

"Years ago one of the veteran players told me as a young guy coming in you need to try to be in great shape."

He had tried to keep that up, and "later on in your career, you need to try and improve and do the same thing."