FIFE Flyers assistant player-coach Danny Stewart insists the club is not suffering any flashbacks to last season despite a dismal run of results.
Flyers have lost seven of their last eight games to slip to the bottom of the Gardiner Conference, and second bottom in the overall Elite League standings just a point ahead of Edinburgh Capitals.
The Kirkcaldy side spent the whole of last season, its first season in the EIHL, in bottom place, but Stewart does not believe that this season’s team is heading for a similar fate.
“We’ve got guys here this year that are more committed to being successful, and the team is better prepared,” he told the Press.
“The owners have done a great job giving me and Dutes what we need – off the ice as well as on it.
“There are improvements behind the scenes that people won’t realise. This team has got a lot more to show for the rest of the year.”
Stewart points to the fact that Flyers have lost five away games by just a single goal as evidence that the team is close to turning the corner.
“Don’t get me wrong it’s frustrating, you don’t want to lose as many games as we have, but there are positive signs,” he said.
“We always seem to start games well and we’ve spoken to the guys about our second periods.
“There were three games in a row there where our second period performance was unacceptable.
“In each game we seem to be falling asleep for at least one period during a game.
“We’ve just drilled it into guys heads that we’ve got to play for 60 minutes.
“We did it against Edinburgh on Saturday and it showed because we got the win.”
Most of Flyers troubles have come away from home, where their record stands at seven defeats from eight.
In contrast the club’s home form is impressive, with six wins from eight, and the only defeats coming to Belfast and Nottingham.
Saturday’s narrow home victory over Edinburgh ended a six-game losing streak ahead of another single-goal away defeat in Hull on Sunday.
“We’ve broken the losing run, which was very much needed,” Stewart added.
“Sometimes when you’re in a slump like that you just have to get back to basics and grind one out - and that’s what we did.
“We controlled the game and played for the full 60 minutes, which we’ve had a tough time doing recently.
“It’s now about building back some momentum, and proving to ourselves that we can win on the road.
“We’ve put ourselves in some great positions, getting ahead in games, and that’s when we’ve got to shut teams down and play a tight road game.”
Stewart is playing on this season’s second forward line alongside player-coach Todd Dutiaume and John Dolan, and he admits that they need to contribute more goals.
“We want to be solid defensively, but we also want to provide that secondary scoring,” he said.
“In the first seven or eight games we were not far off a goal a game, and if you get that over season, that’s all three guys scoring over 20 goals which is great secondary scoring.
“Over the last few games we haven’t clicked as well and we’ve been frustrated with that.
“Hopefully that scoring will come back and we can help the team out.”