Finnerty: ‘Injuries have killed us’

Braehead Clan Head Coach Ryan Finnerty praised his team for their hard work and effort, despite ending the weekend without a point.

With Matt Keith and Matt Haywood both picking up injuries over the weekend, Clan’s strength in depth will be tested as they look to keep their title bid alive.

Finnerty admitted he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at his team’s current situation, but he refused to accept any criticism over his team’s gutsy performances.

He said: “It’s laughable that anybody would ever think this team didn’t battle. It’s an absolute joke if that’s what people are thinking.

“It’s a tough time right now, but I’ll back this group for the way we worked our balls off. We didn’t win, but we worked extremely hard and on another night, a bounce might have gone for us.

“Every team goes through injuries, but I’ve never seen them pile up the way they have for us in the last 24 hours and it’s to key players as well.

“I’ve never seen a team fall apart like this in 24 hours and it’s a situation where you either laugh or cry and it’s been tough.

“Unfortunately injuries have killed us and we’ve got to find a way to get guys back in the line-up and that’s proving next to impossible in the market right now.

“The ownership have backed us to do what we’ve got to do, but the well in dry in terms of the good players that are available to bring in.”

Clan’s 4-3 defeat to Fife Flyers on Sunday saw Nathan McIver and Brendan Brooks both assessed for checking to the head penalties.

As is the nature of the offence, they could be assessed by DOPS this week, which could mean suspensions – something Clan could really do without.

But Finnerty reckons both calls on McIver, who was also assessed on Saturday in Nottingham, were soft and described Brooks’ offence as ‘bizarre’.

He added: “A check to the head is a punch to the head now? It’s bizarre and it’s not something I’ve ever seen. I’m not saying it’s a bad call, but I’ve never seen it described like that.

“Brooksy and their man, Pacquet, punch each other, then their player does six twirls and falls to the ground. Our man gets a two plus ten and theirs gets a two.

“Then we lose our best player for 12 minutes, and while we didn’t make it easy on ourselves we’ll have to see what comes back.

“Nathan McIver throws a couple of big hits and gets assessed for checking to the head on both nights. When you look at them, they’re pretty soft calls.

“We want him playing physical, but if every hit is going to come back with a penalty like that, we’ll need to reassess.”

(Image permission: Al Goold Photo)

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