Hard yards still need to be put in by Sheffield Steelers, says coach Tom Barrasso

TOM BARRASSO insists there is still a long way to go for his Sheffield Steelers team despite the great strides they have made in recent weeks.

Sheffield Steelers' head coach, Tom Barrasso, on the bench during Sunday night's game against Belfast. Picture: Dean Woolley.

When the two-time Stanley Cup champion arrived in South Yorkshire in early October, he inherited a team bottom of the Elite League standings and bereft of confidence.

But the new head coach has overseen a relatively swift transformation at the South Yorkshire club, who are now one of the UK top-flight’s form teams having won eight of their last 10 games to leave them sitting sixth in the latest standings.

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The latest of those victories came on Sunday night at Sheffield Arena when the Steelers won 4-2 to end an 11-game domestic winning streak for current league leaders Belfast Giants, who had beaten the Steelers by the same margin the previous evening.

Now able to confidently run four lines having made a handful of key roster changes, Barrasso is satisfied to see the improvment in his team, but says the recent run of good form needs to be maintained in the coming weeks.

“My job was to come in and instil some confidence in them (the players) and instil a system that I want to play and make them believe it will work and then teach it to them,” said Barrasso. “We’re making some progress as a group but we’ve still got a long way to go.

“We’re eight (wins) and two (losses) in our last 10 games and if we can rip off another stretch like that it will be interesting to see where we are in the standings at that time.”

Steelers are next in action tomorrow when they travel north to face the Glasgow Clan.

PUCK POSSESSION: Josh Piutt battles for possession against Belfast on Sunday night. Picture: Dean Woolley.