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Giants need to look in mirror, blasts Keefe

 

Adam Keefe

Still searching for answers, it was a sombre press room at the SSE Arena on Saturday night after another frustrating weekend for the Belfast Giants.

For head coach Adam Keefe, the admission that he still doesn't know how to solve his team's issues came after an infuriating double-header against the Guildford Flames, from which the Giants took three out of a possible four points.

Despite their 7-3 win over the Flames on Friday, the Giants couldn't back it up against the same opposition on Saturday, falling to a 5-4 defeat in overtime that sees them lose ground in the Elite League title race.

They had to rescue the point on Saturday too, pulling back a three-goal deficit in the third period to take it to extras, but the defeat left Keefe at a loss for words to describe just how his team have failed to string together results across the campaign.

The Canadian coach has tried pretty much everything to break his side out of their inconsistency, from changing the lines to switching up the special teams and even cutting players and bringing in fresh blood, but to no avail, and it has taken its toll.

"This has been the story of our season. If I had the answers for it then this wouldn't happen but I don't have the answers for it. I'm still trying to find them, still trying to find consistent form," sighed an exasperated Keefe.

"It's been tough. This is March, I shouldn't be talking about this. When you're learning lessons every week, at what point do they stop becoming lessons?

"That's just the truth. Guys need to look in the mirror, I need to look in the mirror. It's just not good enough. If guys can't play for two games in a row then we don't deserve to win."

The Giants had done superbly to even force overtime and snatch a point on Saturday, with Brian Ward's empty-net equaliser coming with just 49.9 seconds left on the clock, but that was scant consolation for Keefe given the overall performance.

"It's March. We shouldn't be taking moral victories coming back. It's a credit to the players to do that, though," he repeated.

With the Giants now 27-16-4 for the season and still trailing both the Sheffield Steelers and the Cardiff Devils in the race for the title, it will need a herculean effort for the defending champions to reclaim their crown.

However, Keefe isn't even looking at the standings right now, admitting he has bigger problems to worry about at home before he even considers thinking about their title rivals.

"I'm not worried about titles, I'm worried about the Belfast Giants and us only. We beat ourselves, that's it. We made way too many mistakes (on Saturday)," blasted Keefe.

"If we can correct that and stop beating ourselves then who knows where you end up at the end. As you saw last season, we've just got to worry about one at a time and see where you end up at the end.

"It's a tough league, every game's going to be a battle no matter who you're playing. It doesn't matter who the teams above us are playing or who the teams below us are playing, you never know what's going to happen on any given night.

"We just need to take care of our own business."

Belfast Telegraph