Belfast Telegraph

Walser warns Belfast Giants to shape up or face axe

By Stuart McKinley

Derrick Walser has revealed that he came close to cutting at least one player from his Belfast Giants roster.

And he has warned his squad that they must up their game if they want to be guaranteed a stay in Belfast beyond Christmas.

Walser is angry that his team have won just two of their last five league matches, which has seen them drop to fifth in the Elite League standings.

He has considered changes but has so far held off, but the door isn't closed on the possibility of bringing a new face to the club.

No decision will be taken, however, without everything being weighed up.

"You've really got to make sure if you do pull the trigger on a player that the guy you bring in isn't just a fill-in," said Walser, ahead of this weekend's double-header against the Nottingham Panthers.

"If he is going to come in he's going to push guys to be better, he's going to push guys out of the line-up.

"We've come close to pulling the trigger, but we've just decided to hold off. For some guys I am very grateful that we didn't pull the trigger because they are playing great hockey.

"Some other guys better start pulling their socks up a little bit, but I have addressed that.

"The next step is that if we stay out of the box and commit as a team then I don't know if we need anybody else, not unless there is an injury down the road."

There was a response to recent defeats at the hands of the Cardiff Devils and Edinburgh Capitals when they won two Challenge Cup games against the Fife Flyers, but they lost again at home to Manchester Storm last Sunday.

A home double-header against the Panthers tonight and tomorrow offers the Giants a chance to cut the five-point gap on the current league leaders.

Walser will go into the game without the suspended Darryl Lloyd and will have to leave another import out of the line-up.

Belfast Telegraph


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