THE TIME for making excuses has passed, according to Sheffield Steelers’ interim player-coach Mark Matheson.
The South Yorkshire club slipped to second-bottom in the Elite League standings at the weekend following losses to Glasgow Clan and Fife Flyers.
It leaves the five-time champions with just one regulation win from their opening nine games ahead of this Saturday’s encounter with fierce rivals Nottingham Panthers at the National Ice Centre.
A lot has been made of this summer’s massive overhaul of the roster undertaken by former coach Paul Thompson, with 16 new faces being brought in after a trophyless 2017-18 campaign.
Thompson resigned last week with player-assistant coach Matheson asked to step up to fill the void on an interim basis.
His first week in charge clearly did not bring the desired results, but he said the time for making excuses for the team’s poor run of form had to stop.
“The frustration levels are there, you can see it on guys’ faces,” said 34-year-old defenceman Matheson. “This is a week now, though, where not a lot needs to be said. We know exactly what needs to be done, but we’re not doing it and we’re getting to that point where there really are no more excuses.
“As much as we talk about getting 16 guys in here in the summer and about learning new systems at some point there really are no more excuses. It has to change or changes may happen.
“It’s frustrating personally because we’ve shown we have the ability, but it’s been the story of our season in that we can’t seem to fully commit for 60 minutes.”