SHEFFIELD STEELERS' captain Jonathan Phillips is demanding his team holds themselves accountable in order to nail down a place in the Elite League playoffs.
With only the top eight guaranteed a place in the post-season, the Steelers currently sit sixth in the standings but are only three points ahead of ninth-placed Dundee Stars, who have two games in hand.
The Steelers had shown promising recent form ahead of Wednesday night's Sheffield Arena clash with in-form Glasgow Clan, having taken seven points from the previous four games.
But a 6-1 hammering on home ice at the hands of Pete Russell's team in front of a near-7,000 crowd was a hammer blow to Phillips and his team-mates, particularly after they had lost 6-0 to the same opponents at the same venue only three weeks earlier.
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This weekend sees Tom Barrasso's team host Coventry Blaze on Saturday night before making the short trip across the Pennines to take on Manchester Storm in Altrincham.
Both teams are below the Steelers in the table, both entertain playoff hopes, with Danny Stewart's Blaze team having four games in hand on their hosts, while being just two points behind. Manchester are four points adrift of the Steelers with just one game in hand.
But league position or games played matters little to Phillips, who simply wants to see a positive, sustained reaction by his team on both nights.
"Every single guy in that room needs to take responsibility and realise the dogfight that we’re in," said Phillips, whose brilliant end-to-end wraparound consolation goal against the Clan almost got lost amidst the depression of another heavy home loss. "We need to acknowledge that a result like that one on Wednesday at home again is just unacceptable, particularly given the position that we find ourselves in.
"The belief is still there that we can make the playoffs, definitely. We’re going to lose games, obviously, that is sport at the end of the day - but we just need to make sure we don’t lose them in that fashion again.
"We have to come back from it (losing heavily to Glasgow) We’re professionals, so we have to. We’ve all just got to man up, it is as simple as that."