Tom Squires insists that Sheffield Steeldogs’ confidence has not been damaged, despite the ending of their winning run.
Andre Payette’s men suffered their first defeat in five games on Wednesday, as they went down against Basingstoke Bison.
As it has done all season, one goal separated Steeldogs and Bison, as Doug Sheppard’s title-chasing side took the two points on penalties.
Steeldogs were slow out of the blocks in Hampshire, but fought back on two occasions to pull the scores back to 3-3 through strikes from Tim Smith, Lloyd Gibson and Lubomir Korhorn. Squires, though, believes Steeldogs could have gone on to win the game before it was decided by the lottery of the shoot out.
“Basingstoke made a good start to the game and we didn’t really get going in the first period,” Squires admitted.
“We regrouped well and fought back, and should have gone on to win the game.
“It then becomes a lottery when you go into a shootout.
“It’s never nice to see a winning record come to an end, but it won’t affect out confidence. Little mistakes cost us on Wednesday, but losing to a team that is chasing the title isn’t disappointing.”
Payette’s side will look to bounce back tomorrow, when they travel to Coventry to face Milton Keynes Lightning for the second time in six days.
Steeldogs recorded a 4-2 home victory over Lightning last Sunday and Squires added: “We started a little shaky last weekend as well so we have got to start a lot quicker this time and take the game to them.
“I think we have surprised a few people this year.
“Teams can’t come and turn us over like they used to so we need to go there on Saturday and play our own game and get back to winning ways.”
Steeldogs are sixth in the EPL standings, but hold a 12 point gap over Slough Jets, who are just outside the play-off positions.
“When I joined a couple of weeks ago it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that we would make the play-offs,” he added.
“It is looking a lot clearer now and it is in our hands to make we finish we want to.
“We have got to keep winning now, to put us in the best possible position at the end of the season.”