GLASGOW CLAN head coach Zack Fitzgerald is confident his side will rediscover the form that took them to the top of the EIHL, and this weekend would be the perfect time to start.

The Clan had been on a superb run of form which, last month, saw them rocket to the top of the league. However, a recent dip has seen them fall to a number of defeats and they have slid to sixth in the league table.

But Fitzgerald is not feeling too worried about his side’s dip in form.

“Every team is going to have ups and downs and recently, we’ve had more downs than ups but we’ve also shown how brilliant we can be so we just need to show that again and do it consistently,” he said.“We’ve had a reality check – it was never going to be easy though because this is a hard league.

“We’ve had at least one player injured all season long and that doesn’t help – that didn’t hit us too badly because we’ve got guys who stepped up and played very well, and dealing with that is part of hockey.

“We were on a cloud and we were finding ways to win games. We were going into games not thinking we were ever going to lose – you have that mentality where you believe you’re going to win the game.

“Teams are maybe starting to catch up to the pace we’re at too but we just need to find that form again.”

This weekend, Fitzgerald’s men face a double-header against table-toppers Sheffield Steelers and the American is feeling quietly confident about the games, particularly when the Clan have already notched up two wins against the Englishmen so far this season.

“I’m feeling good about playing Sheffield,” he said.

“They’re obviously a very good hockey team but we’ve done well against them this season. They’ve found their game a bit recently but they’ve also had periods when they’ve been a bit inconsistent but that’s just hockey. I like our chances – we might have had a reality check recently but we’re going to find our way back and Sheffield would be a good place to start.

“They might be a little worried about us because we’ve had their number a bit this season so that’s a good thing to have in our pocket.”

What makes Fitzgerald so confident that his side will find their winning ways again is the attitude they have shown throughout the season and whether they are winning or losing, they have not lost their fight.

“This is a great group of players – they respect each other and work very hard for each other. When you go in the dressing room after a loss, you can see how much it hurts and that’s important because it shows they really do care,” he said.

“Leading up the games each weekend, there’s a great attitude in the dressing room whether we’ve been winning or losing. The guys have really bonded well and that makes me very confident that we will find our feet and find our game again. Every team is going to go through ups and downs but I respect the attitude they bring every day.”

Fitzgerald has had an interesting time of it himself recently. Appointed head coach during the summer after almost two decades as a player, including three seasons at Sheffield Steelers, Fitzgerald has pulled on the pads again and stepped on the ice to help out the team due to a spate of injuries.

It has, he admits, been something of a shock to the system but the love of plying hockey remains.

“I bend a little bit but I haven’t broken yet. It’s unfortunate circumstances that I’ve had to play but just with injuries and giving the guys a bit of a rest, I’m happy to step in and do what I can to help them. If I can use up a bit of ice time to help them rest a little then I’m happy to do that,” the 34-year-old said.

“You get back into being a kid again when you’re playing – you take the suit off and put the pads on and that’s great.

“My main downfall is that I’m not in good enough shape fitness-wise, I’m the first one to admit that. To keep up with my job and my family, it just makes it so hard to keep up with training.

“I’ve been trying but hockey-fitness is different to general fitness, you have to pay to get in match-shape. I’d been practicing with the team ahead of playing in my first game so that helped a bit. But there’s no conditioning like hockey conditioning so it’s hard work.”