Braehead Clan Head Coach Ryan Finnerty says his team have to adopt a play-off mentality in the final few months of the season.
Clan have won four out of their last six since Christmas, to move to within seven points of league leaders Cardiff Devils with four games in hand over the Welsh side.
But Finnerty is refusing to look too far ahead, insisting the club will have a better idea of where they stand at the end of January.
He said: “It’s a play-off mentality we have to adopt. We don’t have that in the traditional sense, so I’m trying to explain that this is as close to it as we get.
“When you’re in the dogfight and you have those 20-odd games, it’s overwhelming for some, but that’s the way it is and it’s who’s the most consistent.
“We’ve done well against the teams in the other conference and now we have to find a way to establish and dominate in our conference.
“If you look at the schedules coming up, the big boys are all playing each other so if we can take care of our own business, we’ll be happy.
“But it’s tough to look at the league right now and only when we get to the end of January will we have a better idea of where we could be.”
Finnerty spoke after Clan’s 3-1 win over Cardiff Devils – a win that saw them take six points from a possible eight from the Welsh side in their meetings this season.
He admitted he wanted to take a more defensive stance because of their recent busy run of games, but was ultimately pleased at the night’s work.
He added: “I think the guys bought into what we wanted to do in this game and we’ve played a lot of hockey over a short period of time.
“We wanted to make sure we were more defensive rather than get into a running gun game and we capitalised early.
“I felt we could have been a two or three goals up after the first, but we finally found a way to beat ‘Bownsy’ in Cardiff’s goal and looked pretty comfortable in the end.
“The way we were playing, I thought we were okay at 2-0 and found a way to make it exciting for the fans at the end.
“It was a systematic victory and you have to give enormous credit to the guys for that.”
(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)