Still too many games ahead to take league victory for granted, Steelers coach Aaron Fox says

Steelers may be riding seven points clear at the top of the Elite League - but nobody at the club is doing a victory jig around Sheffield Arena just yet.

Monday, 20th January 2020, 12:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, 11:42 am
Aaron Johnson back in the line up

Last weekend's wins over both second and third placed rivals Cardiff Devils and Belfast Giants was a giant tonic for a squad that has overcome injuries galore.

Coach Aaron Fox, though, isn't thinking yet about the dry-cleaning bill for his suit he'll face if and when the traditional on ice champagne has popped.

He still has one eye on Devils, who have four games in hand, and Giants, who have two.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Asked, with 16 games remaining in the regular EIHL season, whether he could sense that silverware was there to be grabbed he said: "No, there are still way too many games-in-hand, there is still way too much hockey here.

"We have been dropping guys like flies. You need a lot to go right during the year to win a championship.

"I think we have dealt with our adversity quite well, our ownership has allowed me to bring in players when we needed to.

"We are on track, our goal is to be in the mix down the stretch, and I think that is where we will be."

But the immediate goal is going to be the coming weekend's fixtures.

And the coach believes that Josef Hrabal, the defenceman who missed Sunday's stormy 4-1 home win over Giants, should be fit to meet Manchester Storm, this coming Saturday.

He is optimistic too that Anthony DeLuca hasn't got the broken bone some fans had feared and won't be an absentee for too long.

A new set of x-rays are likely to shed more light on the winger's problem this week, said the coach, who speculated he'd be back in weeks rather than months.

Already back in the orange shirt is ex NHL'er Aaron Johnson, and the "awesome" style of his return has been praised by Fox.

He said the Canadian doesn't lose on-ice battles and was a "huge asset to our line-up" and had complimented the play of team-mate Aaron Brocklehurst.

Fox said the next opponents, Manchester, had enjoyed the "high peak" of seasonal form, recently, and had been beating good teams.

Sheffield certainly could not afford a "night off" against them.