Skating off the ice on Saturday night, with the boos of Fife Flyers fan ringing in his ears, Ryan Dingle looked a frustrated man.
The Flyers forward had produced a man of the match performance, but was on the losing side following a 5-3 defeat to conference rivals Dundee Stars.
The result has left Flyers conference hopes hanging by a thread, and fans hungry for success in the club’s fifth season in the Elite League made their feelings known.
“I know it is frustrating for some guys - but for me it’s an outside motivation,” Dingle told the Press.
“You want to put something on the ice to be proud of. You want to get the Flyers fans on board.
“Probably the most frustrating part for the fans is that you do see flashes of brilliance from us.
“If we were a horrible team, not showing any fight and no flashes of brilliance, I don’t think it would be as frustrating.
“We have it right there – it feels like we’re a part of a team that could really do something – but we haven’t been able to put it together for 60 minutes since that opening night of the season.
“There’s no one right answer - no right or wrong within a game of hockey. There are 20 players and if one of them falls asleep for a second the puck can end up in the back of the net.
“That 60 minute performance is what everybody strives for. It’s a game of mistakes. Not one team in the world has gone an entire game without making a mistake.
“Limiting the mistakes is something that’s hugely important.”
Dingle pointed to the opening 18 minutes of Saturday’s match against Dundee as proof of the capabilities of this season’s Flyers team.
“We came out strong and were very happy with the product we put on the ice for the first 18 minutes,” he said.
“I thought we played what we want Flyers hockey to look like.
“We played together, and we played fast-paced hard, gritty hockey. Dundee’s a very skilled team and I think we really took it to them, going 2-0 up, but after that we got a little complacent.
“We’ve had our highs and lows of the season, but one thing we’re struggling with right now is playing with a lead.
We’re sitting back and almost waiting for mistakes to happen.
“A description our coaching staff has used is having that killer instinct.
“When we’ve had a chance to really keep a team down we haven’t put our foot to the pedal or continued to keep the pressure on.”
Flyers salvaged two points from the weekend with a 7-6 penalty shots win in Manchester - a high-scoring game compared to the low-scoring affairs Flyers were involved in earlier in the season.
“We didn’t have success offensively for a big stretch of the season - and you can point numerous different ways for that - but we really stuck to it and battled hard and it’s nice to see guys hitting the back of the net right now,” Dingle said.
“Offensively it’s doing pretty nice right now for us, but we need to tighten up defensively.”