Phillips: Steelers’ Challenge Cup drought annoys me

Jonathan Phillips is sick of hearing about how Sheffield Steelers haven't won the Challenge Cup in the Elite League era (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Sheffield Steelers captain Jonathan Phillips admits it bugs him when he’s reminded about the length of time since they last won the Challenge Cup. Now he’s out to change that.

Aaron Fox’s men will meet Manchester Storm in their quarter final, starting on Wednesday when the Ryan Finnerty brings his men to the Fly DSA Arena for the first leg.

And Phillips believes his side have the tools to finally overcome the one stat he doesn’t like when it comes to Sheffield’s record in the competition.

“The cup is important to us,” Phillips told the Sheffield Star.  “I’m fed up of people reminding me it’s the only trophy we haven’t won in the Elite League era.

“We’ve made finals and semi-finals but never lifted it. I guess we were too busy winning leagues and play-offs.

“This is a team that can end the drought but only if we engage and are fully committed. We have shown with the performances against Nottingham Panthers and Belfast Giants, recently, that we have the tools.”

Phillips last won the Challenge Cup in 2006 when he played for Cardiff Devils (PHOTO: Dean Woolley)

Phillips has tasted Challenge Cup glory, having won it with Cardiff Devils in 2006 when they defeated Coventry Blaze on penalty shots after a 4-4 aggregate.

He’d love to win it again, but find Storm standing in their way as they at least aim for the semi finals and go into the first game on the back of a 4-0 win at Belfast Giants.

Their home record over the Storm sees them with wins in each of their last five meetings so the formbook perhaps leans towards Fox’s team.

Phillips isn’t having any of it and insists Steelers have to start strong and take the game to Manchester with the pressure on them.

He added: “It’s important we start this two-legged quarter final on the front foot. We need to win the game and put the pressure back on them for the following week.

“We have the upmost respect for Ryan and Manchester. Everyone talks about their home form and it’s been good against us but look at their numbers on the road. Wednesday will be a dog fight.”

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