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Shock to system for Belfast Giants

By Stuart McKinley

Published 03/11/2008

Steve Thornton reacted to the Belfast Giants’ defeat at the hands of the Hull Stingrays on Saturday night by cancelling planned days off.

Instead of relaxing on Sunday morning the players were brought in for a gym session and they were also due to be training again today instead of having a break.

The extra days work is a reaction to the performance against the Stingrays, as the Giants lost their position at the top of the Elite League table after a 6-3 defeat.

Although the score was 1-1 at the end of the first period, before a three-goal salvo in the next 20 minutes put the Stingrays in the driving seat, Thornton put the defeat down to the effort of his team in the entire first two periods.

“In the first 40 minutes we had three or four powerplays and didn’t create anything,” said Thornton.

“Hull worked harder and won their battles while we were missing a little jump.

“Maybe my guys thought that with Hull being bottom of the standings it was going to be easy.

But I keep saying that there are no easy games and teams get up for games against Belfast, especially at the Odyssey.

“The Sunday and morning sessions are a sign of how angry and annoyed I was with the performance.

“There was certainly no music blaring or beers flowing in our dressing room after the game.

“I wouldn’t let that happen because it would make the result acceptable when it wasn’t.

“If you allow defeats like that to be acceptable then you allow them to happen more often and while I expect that we will lose other games this season I want there to be more highs and the highs have to get higher.

“It’s a game that’s gone now.

“We can’t get those points back so we have to work hard to make them up against teams that are around the top of the league along with us.”

The Giants dropped all the way to third after Saturday’s defeat and with next weekend’s home and away double-header with Basingstoke now off due to Great Britain call-ups for Thornton and five of his players, they could well find themselves in the bottom half of the table by the time the trips to Nottingham and Manchester come around a week later.

“If we do end up sixth it doesn’t really mean anything, just like being first didn’t mean anything,” said Thornton.

“It’s about what happens over the course of the whole season, not the first 12 or 15 games and we’re not getting carried away.

“I am not throwing the towel in just because we have lost one game.

“I still like my team and I wouldn’t swap any of them, but I have to make losing as far from being enjoyable as possible to make sure it doesn’t start to be a habit.”

Belfast Telegraph

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