Phoenix pleased with workout if not results

Monday, 3rd September 2007

Manchester Phoenix Head Coach Tony Hand declared himself reasonably satisfied after the two pre-season challenge games against the Sheffield Steelers.

"The games were two good, competitive workouts for our guys and there were a lot of positives despite the actual results going against us," he commented. "I thought the guys did well considering we've only been together just under a week, and given another good week of training we'll be ready for the real thing beginning next weekend."

Saturday saw Phoenix lose 4-1 in Sheffield in an entertaining and quick-paced game. Captain Scott Basiuk scored in reply to earlier strikes for the Steelers from Doug Sheppard, Ashley Tait (twice) and Warren Tait. Sunday saw a good crowd in the Altrincham Silver Blades Ice Dome witness the visitors edge the game by the odd goal in eleven. Simon Mangos bagged a brace while Basiuk, Omar Ennaffati and Hand himself all weighed with a goal apiece.

Hand added, "Sheffield showed they have three solid lines and plenty of speed, they will be a team to watch. Of course we wanted to win the games this weekend, but these were pre-season games. The real thing is about the 54 league games we've got ahead of us."