Eric Neiley says Sheffield Steelers' players avoid negative comments about their team and their coach like the plague.
Steelers have lost half of their last 10 games, a series which perhaps sums up their inconsistent season.
That’s led to criticism, mainly aimed at coach Paul Thompson from some fans on social media and web forums. “None of us really read that stuff” said Neiley.
“They can say what they want, they are not in the locker room, they don’t know what’s going on every day. But at the same time we know it’s being said and we want to do better for them (the fans.)
“We don’t want them to show up and be disappointed with our play.
“So we want to step it up, win as much as possible, make the games entertaining so the fans have fun.
“But at the same time there are struggles behind the scenes...The locker room is a team, we know what’s going on, we know what we need to do, and that’s the most important stuff.”
Neiley said the dressing room was loyal to the coaching staff.
“The coach is our coach; he is a Steeler, we are all Steelers. We are in this to win, we know what we need to do to win and that’s it.”
Steelers have blown their chance of winning the League title.
But Neiley said hockey was the players job and they would keep intensity levels up.
He said they wanted to get the momentum going into the plays offs: “because if we win the play offs its still a good season.”
The winger, who scored three goals in three consecutive games recently, said scoring eight goals against Fife Flyers last weekend was good for confidence.
“It doesn’t matter who you are playing against, if you score eight goals you are doing stuff right.”