Todd Dutiaume has admitted that Fife Flyers are fighting to win back the faith of their fans after another weekend without a win.
Back-to-back defeats to Belfast Giants mean the Kirkcaldy side have lost 11 of their last 15 games and currently sit in ninth place in the Elite League, outside the play-off positions.
Dutiaume accepts that the fans are unhappy with the performances and results, but saw enough encouraging signs in the narrow 3-2 defeat in Belfast on Sunday to suggest that the team can turn a corner.
“We proved that we are capable of putting on a solid 60 minute team performance where everybody is sticking up for each other and involved in the play,” he said.
“We’ve lost the confidence of a lot of our supporters and we need to play like that night in, night out to win that support back.”
Dutiaume views the forthcoming three-game weekend, with six Gardiner Conference points up for grabs, as a perfect chance to get the fans back onside.
“It’s a pivotal weekend and we need to treat it like play-offs,” he said. “Not only do guys need to play like they are fighting for their jobs, they need to grasp the chance to win back the supporters.
“We need to go out and prove to ourselves that we are capable of finding the consistency required to put some wins together – not just the odd piecemeal period here and there.”
Flyers weekend starts with a trip to Dundee Ice Arena on Friday night to face a Stars side they trail by six points in league, and two in conference.
This is followed by a double-header against arch-rivals Braehead Clan with Ryan Finnerty’s men visiting Kirkcaldy on Saturday before the return game in Glasgow on Sunday.
“We’ve lost three in a row in the conference and gone from challenging for the top of the division to mid-table. We’ve also fallen outside the play-off spots in the league.
“That’s how quickly things can turn around.
“This is a big weekend here to get us right back in the mix of things.
“Three in three against clubs playing better hockey right now is a big ask but we need to rise to the challenge.
“We need the full team to show up like they did in Belfast on Sunday.”
Elsewhere in the Elite League, last season’s top scorer at Fife, Ned Lukacevic, was this week released by Coventry Blaze after scoring just 13 points in 21 games.