Sheffield Steeldogs v Hull Seahawks: Jason Hewitt seeing plenty of positive signs ahead of derby clash
The Steeldogs head into tonight’s derby clash at home with Hull Seahawks having won six and lost six of their opening 12 games.
It leaves them in seventh spot in the standings after 12 games, although they head into their Ice Sheffield clash with Matty Davies’s third-placed team knowing a win will take them to within two points of their local rivals.
Last weekend summed up the Steeldogs’ season perfectly, says Hewitt, his team backing up the previous weekend’s 6-4 reload win at in-form Bees IHC with a 6-5 win in overtime at home to Raiders IHC.
The following night, however, Hewitt’s team came home empty-handed from Romford when they went down 5-3 to Sean Easton’s team.
“We haven’t been able to put together any kind of winning streak so far this season and that’s been one of the most frustrating things for us,” said Hewitt.
“It’s kind of like two steps forward, one step back at the moment. But we’re showing a lot of resilience and there are a lot of good signs there.
“It’s about learning, including me learning in terms of what certain guys can and can’t do and what they need from me.
“We’re still fresh, though and we’re only 12 games or so in. I’m not looking at our position right now and thinking we’re having a bad year or anything, it’s just a pride thing. There is no sense of panic anywhere.”
The Seahawks travel to Sheffield emboldened by a four-point weekend, which saw them follow up a 6-4 win on the road at bottom club Bristol Pitbulls with a 4-3 win on home ice over second-placed Milton Keynes Lightning – their second win over Tim Wallace’s much-fancied side this year.
It snapped a three-game losing streak for Davies’s team, something the head coach was understandably pleased with.
"I never got carried away with our start, or thought that we were going to stay unbeaten – that’s just not a reailty in this league,” he said.
"I know we’re far from the finished article and we’re still finding our feet as a team, as a lot of teams are.
"But we’ve added quite a lot of new players – more than most probably – so it’s about finding who we are and getting that chemistry going again. A blip like that was always going to come at some point and it will again.
“This league is difficult every night and it was good that we could get back to winning ways quite quickly, but also get back to the kind of performances that we’re looking for.”
The Steeldogs close out their weekend with a trip to Telford Tigers, while Hull head home to play host to Bristol.