Sheffield Steeldogs backed to overcome Autumn Cup heartache by coach Greg Wood

GREG WOOD is backing his Sheffield Steeldogs team to bounce back from their Autumn Cup disappointment and return to winning ways in NIHL National.

Sheffield Steeldogs celebrate Matt Bissonnette putting them 3-2 up on the night against Elland Road at Elland Road Picture: Bruce Rollinson

The Steeldogs lost out 6-5 and 9-6 on aggregate to Leeds Knights on Friday night, the two losses following a four-game winning streak which had carried them to the top of the regular season standings.

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While Wood and his players will be clearly hurting at missing out on a place in the final against either Swindon wildcats or Telford Tigers, he is confident they will get back to the kind of form that has made them the team to beat this season.

“We’re obviously disappointed,” said Wood. “It was a funny old game at times and I think for the paying fans, what a spectacle for them. There was so much drama, but I just think Leeds - in those key moments - were better than us.

“We totally outchanced them heavily, we had so much pressure but we didn’t take our chances. The first two clear shots they had on net they went in. They were very clinical when they got opportunities - that was a big difference

“I saw a lot of character and a lot of fight from my team, but there was probably a little bit too much damage done on Wednesday.”

Wood and his players return to home ice on Saturday night before finishing off a hectic spell of four games in five days when they travel to Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday and Wood hopes they remain the team to catch for their NIHL National rivals when they get back on the coach to head home back up the A1.

“Now it’s about getting back to the form we showed before the semi-final,” added Wood. “Our form has been good. We finished top of the Autumn Cup group for a reason, we’re top of the league for a reason, we’re not there by fluke – we have been playing well.

“You’re going to lose as a club - it’s natural. We’ve only had five losses in the last year, but guys have got to learn from this - it’s probably a good learning experience. We’re not going to have everything our own way and it’s how you react and how bounce back from it.

“I fully expect us to be ready for Raiders and to get rid of any hangover there might be from these two games against Leeds.”