Mental strength is key, says Steelers coach Adams

Sheffield Steelers' head coach Gerad Adams.
Sheffield Steelers' head coach Gerad Adams.
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GERAD ADAMS believes a positive mental approach will serve his Sheffield Steelers well during the run-in to the Elite League play-offs.

The new Steelers head coach enjoyed the perfect opening to his tenure at the Motorpoint Arena at the weekend by picking up back-to-back wins against Nottingham Panthers and Cardiff Devils.

With seven games remaining, the four points helped strengthen Steelers’ grip on second spot in the overall league standings going into the post-season.

It has been a whirlwind few days for Adams since his appointment to succeed the axed Doug Christiansen was confirmed last Thursday.

He has returned to the club where he won a double under Mike Blaisdell in 2003-04.

Adams has been impressed with the response from his players since his arrival.

“It was the kind of performance I was expecting at the weekend to be honest and the players delivered,” said Adams.

“They’ve been an absolute joy to work with since I got here and their hard work really paid off, so I’m pleased for them.

“I think there’s been a slight mental change. We dipped at one point in the two games, but we were able to pick it up quite quickly.

“The mental approach is good, everybody is being very positive which is what I demand out of the players and they are reaping the rewards for that.”

Adams, meanwhile, believes Sunday’s game at home to runaway league champions Belfast Giants will give him his best indication over how much his Steelers team need to improve over the next few weeks.

Paul Adey’s team confirmed their third Elite League title last month and currently lie a mammoth 24 points ahead of their nearest rivals, second-placed Steelers.

“I think the Belfast game will be a benchmark,” added Adams.

“It will show us where we are at and more importantly where we need to be. Win, lose or draw, it will show me a lot.

“I believe in this side and these players and I think we can make a run at it (winning the play-offs). Sunday will show us how close or far away we are.”