HULL PIRATES coach Jason Hewitt is not interested in who his team comes up against in the English Premier League play-offs - but he believes his players have what it takes to make it to the finals weekend in Coventry.
The former GB international has settled quickly into his new role as head coach in East Yorkshire after being asked to take over from predecessor Dominic Osman.
The American requested to step aside in order to concentrate on the management side of the club, while remaining as a player under Hewitt.
Of the six league games in charge so far, Hewitt has masterminded three wins, including a stirring 3-2 home triumph against defending champions Basingstoke two weeks ago.
It has given Hewitt belief that his team can regain their excellent early-season form in time for the play-offs, which this year return to the group format.
“Results between now and the end of the regular season are going to go whatever way,” said Hewitt. “But for me, as a coach, it is more important what we actually do in those games.
asdfasdfHull Pirates’ player-coach, Jason Hewitt.
“I honestly couldn’t care less who we get in the play-offs, I just want to make sure we’re playing the best hockey we can be and all be on the same page to give us every chance of getting out of the group and on to Coventry.
“It’s not going to be easy but I’ve every belief that we have a team that can get us to Coventry.”
Hewitt, who spent more than 10 years playing in the Elite League, chiefly with Sheffield Steelers, is out for the season after undergoing shoulder surgery and was already helping out on the bench when he asked to step up to the head coach role, something he has not regretted.
“The coaching side of things is going well,” he added. “It’s definitely not something I thought about doing when I first came here. It came out of the blue to be honest, but I knew that the guys would respect me - there is a good group of guys in the room - and I just wanted to help as much as I could in a tough situation.
“The team seems to have responded to it quite well.”
This weekend sees Hewitt’s team face a trip to Guildford Flames before hosting second-placed Milton Keynes Lightning tomorrow. It could be the last time they face-off against both teams, who next year will be plying their trade in the Elite League.
Last weekend saw Hull slip to a 4-2 home defeat at the hands of Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Steeldogs in the Bradfield Cup, the second leg of which will take place at Ice Sheffield this Friday.
The Steeldogs are not in action until Sunday night when they host Swindon Wildcats.
Previous visits by Swindon to Ice Sheffield have seen a 6-2 win for the hosts back in October followed by a 4-2 win for the Wildcats when the two teams met again last month.