Belfast Telegraph

Giants on a mission to put things right after double defeat: Keefe


By Stuart McKinley

Adam Keefe has branded the Belfast Giants' weekend performances as "unacceptable".

The head coach is looking at himself rather than heaping the blame for back-to-back defeats on his players.

The team's six-match winning run came to a crashing end when they failed to score as they lost to the Cardiff Devils and Dundee Stars, and Keefe is demanding a response when they face the Nottingham Panthers at the SSE Arena tonight.

"We weren't prepared to do the extra things that you need to do when you can't create the chances or even the second looks in front of goal," said Keefe.

"That's when you need to get dirty and work hard and we did not do that. It wasn't good enough. The players know themselves that it was unacceptable.

"It's great that we have an opportunity to put it right so quickly with Nottingham coming to Belfast and we have to be better.

"It starts with me, I look in the mirror and ask myself did I do everything right in preparing the team, and when I look back I don't know if I did."

The Giants have something to make up for after losing twice to the Panthers in Nottingham this season.

The other motivating factor for Keefe is that he knows after tonight and Sunday's game at home to Manchester Storm that points are going to be hard to come by between now and Christmas with 10 consecutive away games before December 29.

He knows the size of the task ahead though against a team he rates as one that will be among the title contenders.

"We have to take the game to Nottingham on our ice and with two games at home before the long stretch on the road we have to enjoy this," said Keefe.

The Giants will have Jim Vandermeer back on the ice tonight after serving a two-match suspension, while Kevin Raine, Spiro Goulakos and Mark Garside are waiting to be advised by medical staff.

Belfast Telegraph

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