Steelers’ boss defends team

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STEELERS player coach Ryan Finnerty has refused to give up on the title despite an embarrassing 5-1 defeat at rivals Nottingham Panthers.

Second-place Sheffield have five games in hand over leaders Belfast Giants but trail by nine points.

“We were terrible and if it hadn’t had been for our goalie (John DeCaro) it would have been a lot worse,” admitted Finnerty. “Yet Nottingham are looking up the standings at us, rather than the other way round. The important thing is to leave the negativity to others...I stand by my team.”

Finnerty said Steelers skaters had no choice now other than to perform “play off” intensity hockey, which will include three games against the Irish front runners.

“The championship is still in our hands. We are going to shuffle the pack tomorrow (Fife, home) and take it from there.”