Sheffield Steelers coach demands improved discipline

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Steelers’ coach Paul Thompson’s patience is being tested over his side taking “stupid penalties.”

His side put themselves under the cosh against Edinburgh Capitals by taking three last period minor penalties - one of them featuring Zack Fitzgerald retaliating on behalf of a team-mate with a slash.

Caps scored both of their goals on the PP and Thompson said: “We took a couple of stupid penalties late on. I thought we had got over that, we have got to be smarter than that and not let teams back in.”

On the Fitzgerald infraction, he said: “He has got to focus better in that area, because we need him out on the ice to close games out. We don’t need him sitting in the penalty box handing an opportunity to another team.”

Overall, though Thompson said he was happy with a “pretty beat up, tired group” that was mentally as well as physically fatigued after five games since New Year’s Eve.

He was delighted for Wednesday’s man of the match John Armstrong, who scored twice. “That’s four (goals) in four (games) he said.

Zack Fitzgerald - passionate for the cause. Pic: Dean Woolley

Zack Fitzgerald - passionate for the cause. Pic: Dean Woolley

“It is confidence, this game. You mix things up to get a different feel with different lines mates and John has responded. He deserved man of the match.

And of Ben O’Connor, he said: “He played really well, really smart, these are the kind of games that you can over play, you can try and make that Hollywood play and pass and he has that in his armour to do that. But I thought he played a really good north south game and played a big part in all three games.”

Steelers expect to have Yared Hagos back for Saturday’s home game against Coventry Blaze.

“Coventry’s form has been very good, they have made a few changes to their line up seem to have got the balance right.”

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