Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Giants boss Doug Christiansen is cranking up the pressure

Doug Christiansen last night turned up the heat on the Sheffield Steelers as the Elite League title battle hots up by declaring ‘the pressure is all on you.’

Doug Christiansen last night turned up the heat on the Sheffield Steelers as the Elite League title battle hots up by declaring ‘the pressure is all on you.’

And he has been joined by forward Simon Lambert who claims that the Steelers will fear the Giants when they meet at the Odyssey Arena tonight.

Christiansen leads the Giants into what is expected to be a huge clash with the top-of-the-table Steelers in the knowledge that his side are potentially just a week away from overtaking their rivals at the summit.

If the Giants — who are currently the Elite League’s form team having won all of their last 11 games — keep that winning streak going for the remaining six games of the season there is nothing Sheffield can do to stop them from becoming champions.

While the Giants just keep on winning, the Steelers have wobbled slightly.

Their defeat against the Hull Stingrays last weekend means that the Giants are now in control of their own destiny, but with tonight’s contest being followed by a return meeting in Sheffield on Wednesday, the Steelers are in exactly the same situation.

“The league is still Sheffield’s to lose and the pressure is all on them,” said Christiansen.

“They are the team at the top, but they’ve gone from having a nine point lead 10 days ago to now being ahead by just three thanks to our winning run and their loss to Hull.

“They play Nottingham on Sunday night and if we beat them then it’s a long flight for them before a four o’clock face-off and the pressure will increase.

“They know that we’re on their tails and we have a chance here to cut that lead even further.

“This is going to be a huge game. We know how good Sheffield are — they have only lost eight games all season. There are areas where they are better than us, but I think we’re more skilled than they are and we’ve got to try to use that to beat them.”

The next week is set up to be the biggest in the 11-season history of the Giants.

As well as the two battles with the Steelers they face the Nottingham Panthers in the first leg of the Challenge Cup final on Tuesday

and there are two home league games next weekend, against Edinburgh on Friday and Newcastle 24 hours later.

Lambert’s goals have been important to the Giants since he arrived in early December and he believes the Steelers will know all about the winning run that the Giants are on.

“We couldn’t be more ready. They are going to have to be scared of us coming here with our streak going,” said Lambert.

“The door is open for us, we know we can do it ourselves now, we’re not waiting on someone else to fall.

“We’ll be proud if we win, we’ll only have ourselves to blame if we don’t and we can’t afford to drop points to Sheffield.

“I’ve never won a championship in my career and I’m here with the chance to win three this season. Every game is almost do or die and it’s fun.”

Belfast Telegraph

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