Wallace: No added pressure at Panthers

(PHOTO: Tony Sargent)

Nottingham Panthers coach Tim Wallace insists there’s no added pressure on him as he gets his teeth into his new job.

The former MK Lightning coach was confirmed as replacement for Rick Strachan last week as Director of Hockey Guillaume Doucet agreed terms to bring him back to the Elite League.

And Wallace said it was an opportunity that was just too good to turn down when the chance came up for a return to the UK.

“Coming to the Panthers doesn’t add pressure on,” he said.  “The way I look at it, I’m here to win hockey games and I’ll take it a day at a time.  Today, I’m talking to a bunch of players and I’ll do it again tomorrow.

“It comes down to day to day work, being on the same page and being ready to work.  I think there’s pressure certainly, but in order to be a pro hockey player for this long, you have to learn and not take the pressure.  You just have to go with it.

“It’s an amazing opportunity and I thought I would just be playing this year so when this opportunity came up, I had to think about it, but I just couldn’t turn it down.

“It’s been a lot of fun working with Guillaume Doucet, who brings a lot to the game and knows it very well.  He has lots of connections too and we’re working hard and I think we have the right mind set to put a great team together.”

Wallace also reflected on his time with Lightning in s troubled season that saw them marooned at the bottom of the table amid accusations of alleged non-payments of players.

He took the positives from what was an undoubtedly challenging situation and paid tribute to the players he worked with.

He added: “Every one of them in that room in MK have a lot of character and hopefully, this past year, they gained a lot and made them stronger for it.  It was a great learning experience and I’m definitely ready to go again.

“It was tricky to motivate the players at times with what was going on and it was hard to get guys to feel like it’s a professional situation when things like that are going on in the background.

“I think, personally, I did a good job, but the guys deserve the most credit.  Once the puck dropped, they got to work and did everything they could to win hockey games.  

“It was definitely a battle with the numbers we had and I definitely think we’re stronger for the experience.”

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