Sheffield Steelers players know they will have to face two teams champing at the bit to beat them this weekend.
Tomorrow, they face the Coventry Blaze side they beat last Sunday - inflicting their eighth loss in 10 games. And on Sunday they visit Belfast Giants, who they have beaten twice this season in South Yorkshire.
Steelers captain Jonathan Phillips said: “Coventry it will be another tough game with Goertz (Steve Goertzen) taking over they will have some structure there. And they are going to want to prove people wrong with how results have gone lately. We have to take care of business there and hopefully get the two points in Belfast. Whatever is thrown at us I like to think we embrace.”
Phillips said the European tournament that Belfast has competed in will have been a tiring affair. But he said: “Belfast are a great team, we have managed to beat them twice, but we haven’t played there yet and it’s two big points for them. They will throw everything at us. We need to be ready.”
Steelers lead the League by a point and Phillips said: “We’ve played some good games and picked up some good points. We had more than enough opportunities to win the (last) game (in Braehead) the reffing wasn’t exactly the best. We got some bad calls against us. We have got some important players to get back. That is where the character comes in. If you can put out results when you are short then that builds for a good team.”
The competition has rarely been so tight at the top of the Elite league with only five points separating the top five teams - Sheffield leading Braehead, Nottingham, Belfast and Cardiff.
On form Cardiff have won their last five games.