Great Britain captain Jonathan Phillips reckons this afternoon’s clash with Denmark is winnable as Pete Russell’s team chase a win in the World Championships.
The team are in their final preparations as the Danes await them in the Steel Arena in Kosice, face off 3.15pm, but despite two losses, the mood is upbeat among the players.
And the Sheffield Steelers man, who will earn his 90th GB cap, admits that despite his wealth of experience, even playing at this level is a learning curve for him as he tests himself against the world’s best.
“The mood is pretty good right now and the two games we’ve had so far has set us up nicely,” he said. “We’re learning each game and adjusting to the speed and thought process we need to be at at this competition.
“I think we’re confident in things we can do going forward. It’s a learning curve for me and getting a chance to play these teams is something where you’re learning in each shift.
“Looking ahead, Denmark is definitely winnable for us. Sunday’s game is something you have to take out of the equation for the tournament, but we want a result in this competition and we want it against Denmark for sure.
“They’re a tough team who skate well and have the skill, but we have to concentrate on ourselves and keep improving as we have been.
“The one thing we can take from the first two games is we have to be more confident on the puck because we can make more plays so that’s something we can take on board.
“We haven’t learned much about them, but we’ll do the pre-scout meeting in the morning of the game and find out a bit more about them. There are so many games coming in quick succession, it’s important to just take one at a time.”
Phillips looked back at tournament as a whole so far, both on and off the ice as the GB players are in the middle of uncharted territory for this generation of players and the level they’re performing at.
He reserved special praise for one team-mate in particular, but the skipper says he’s thrilled to be very much ‘living the dream’.
He added: “You could see the good things we did against Germany where a couple of bounces could have gone our way and we could have gone 2-1 up. It would have been a different game, but you leave a guy who’s scored 50 goals in the NHL with the puck in the slot, he’s going to score.
“It’s all been positive and even the event itself is different to what we’re used to. There’s much bigger status to it. We’re getting police escorts to and from the games, the hotels are nicer and it’s all the little touches, it’s definitely something we’re not used to, but we’re enjoying it.
“Bownsy is a winner and he’s proved over the last four or five years what he’s capable of. When you know he’s in there, the confidence is huge so the praise he’s getting right now is nothing more than he deserves.
“Everyone saw the standing ovation he got from the crowd on Sunday against Canada when he came off, even the Canadian players were applauding him as well and that speaks volumes of what people think of him right now.
“It’s unbelievable to be living the dream. It’s everything and more to be part of this tournament and we’re full of beans within the camp. We expect to keep going and showing what we’re all about. Our goal is to remain here and we’ll do everything we can to do so.”