Finnerty looks for Clan to keep rolling

Braehead Clan Head Coach Ryan Finnerty admits the pressure is on his team to finish the season with a flourish if they want to win the Gardiner Conference.

Fife Flyers have finished their games and set a 43-point target for Clan to chase with four games left to play.

Victories against Belfast Giants and Dundee Stars over the weekend have kept Finnerty’s team in the hunt, although they can’t afford to drop any more points in their remaining Conference games.

He said: “We’ve got to stay alive here and the only way to do that is by winning and we appear to have turned a corner here.

“There’s pressure on us now to get the remaining wins we need to get this Conference, but we have the confidence in the team again.

“As I’ve said before, it’s something you can’t practice or teach and it just comes with winning. Guys have that self-belief back and it’s great to see.

“The game against Nottingham was a win that got us off that slide, then we went to Belfast and performed well defensively, plus Chris Holt was great for us.

“We could have them down a couple with the breakaways we had, although we only capitalised on the one.

“In Dundee, I thought we looked a little fatigued for half the game and it took us a little while to get going.

“After that we created a ton of chances and looked like the offensive team we can be. It just took a while to get that go-ahead goal.”

With three wins in a row, Clan now look ahead to the remaining four Conference games – double-headers against Manchester Storm and Edinburgh Capitals – with renewed vigour.

Finnerty is pleased to see the back of February and is focused on finishing the season on a high.

He added: “We went through that tough time in February with the injuries we had. The league’s just too good to sustain the losses we did and expect to still compete.

“Now we’ve shaken that and we’ve gone into third place in the league. We’ve got a new vision and guys are excited for the end of the season.

“We now have two games with Manchester next week and we owe them from the last time we played them.

“They caught us at a bad time and it affected our Conference and the league. It’s a case of looking at where we are and where we could have been.

“You can’t change the past and we’re riding high again, churning out some wins and doing enough to get the points. That’s all you can do at this stage of the season.”

(Image permission: Carol Ann Jardine)

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