Campbell keen to stay ahead of chasing pack

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Forward Derek Campbell insists Sheffield Steelers will use the length of time it took for them to become Elite League leaders as motivation to ensure they are swiftly replaced at the top of the standings.

Ben Simon’s team have just emerged from an energy-sapping five games in eight days with a 100 per cent return, taking their win streak to 11 and giving them a five-point cushion over second-placed Cardiff Devils, who have one game in hand following Friday night’s shock 7-1 defeat at Braehead Clan.

The top two face each other in a double header next weekend, but before then Steelers welcome fast-fading Nottingham Panthers to the Motorpoint Arena on Saturday night (7.00).

Speaking after Wednesday night’s hard-fought 7-5 win at Hull Stingrays, Campbell - who grabbed his ninth goal of the season - said the Steelers’ championship-winning experience in the locker room would prove vital in the title race.

“Going top is something we’ve worked extremely hard for all year,” said Campbell. “But we’re up there now and the other teams are chasing us so that’s got to be an incentive for us.

“We’ve got guys that have won championships and they know that every game, every practice and every time you lace up or are in the gym, you’re thinking of first place and how much you want to keep it.

“We have had a tough schedule but at the same time do you want to be first place or do you want to be second? If you’re going to be first place that kind of stuff (winning five in five) is expected.”