EPL: Home kick-start sought by Sheffield Steeldogs | Hull Pirates look to rebound by sinking leaders

GREG WOOD wants his misfiring Sheffield Steeldogs team to turn their season around by making their Ice Sheffield home a place to be feared by their English Premier League rivals.

OPTIMISTIC: Sheffield Steeldogs player-coach, Greg Wood. Picture: Peter Best

The Yorkshire club are hoping to snap out a 10-game winless slump when they play host to both Manchester Phoenix and Guildford Flames this weekend.

Wood admits to being frustrated by the last month’s results, his team losing touch with the top four, while allowing the bottom two of Bracknell and Manchester to close the gap on them in the eighth and final play-off spot.

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But this week’s practice sessions have given Wood grounds for optimism with his players showing more of their normal jump ahead of this weekend’s challenges.

Hull Pirates' player-coach, Dominic Osman.

“Last year we made our rink a fortress,” said Wood. “If you win your home games it gives you such a solid base to build on and that is something I want to address and make Ice Sheffield is somewhere where other teams don’t want to come.

“We want to make it somewhere where people know they will be in for a tough game.

“I know it is a 10-game winless streak, but there have been four or five of those that we really should have seen out – it’s just those small margins that have seen us lose out.

“But this week has been a lot different – everybody seems to have a bit more of a jump about them in practice so I’m really optimistic for this weekend.”

Hull Pirates' player-coach, Dominic Osman.

Hull Pirates will look to rebound from last week’s 4-0 defeat at home to second-placed Milton Keynes, but will find it tough against league leaders Telford tonight.

They then play host to Swindon Wildcats tomorrow, a team they have beaten twice already in East Yorkshire this season.