Omar Pacha: “The main thing was to get healthy”

January 14, 2019 2:40 pm

Dundee Stars Head Coach Omar Pacha was a happy man this Monday morning, waking up for a new week after his side posted a four-point weekend with home and away wins over Sheffield Steelers the past two days.

“It was a great weekend. The guys had a really good week of practice, we made a few adjustments for Sheffield, and the guys responded well,” explained the Stars’ coach. “Everybody from top to bottom in the organisation had a good weekend, and it helped us to get the four points.”

All smiles for Pacha (Photo: Scott Wiggins)

Pacha went into the Sheffield double-header in the somewhat unfortunate position of being 0/29 in games against the Steelers as a coach from his time in Hull, Manchester and Dundee combined. Was it in his mind ahead of the weekend? “To be fair, not really. Last week we focussed more on the team Sheffield has,” said the 32-year-old. “Obviously it comes up on Twitter each time we play Sheffield, and whenever I forgot about it people tended to remind me! But ultimately this was more about our playoff push in my opinion. It’s the nice to get that done for myself, and it was also the first road game victory over the Steelers for the Stars franchise, so it’s a good feeling. Then obviously to come back home and win was a great accomplishment. Whenever you beat one of the teams in the league with a history like theirs, and they’re such a great organisation, it always feels good.”

Dundee lost at home to Glasgow and MK in Week 18, before getting soundly beaten by the Clan on the road, and then coming back in Week 19 to post two wins. What changed? “The main thing was to get healthy. We had niggles throughout that week, and like every team playing so many games over the Christmas period we just had 5-6 guys that needed a rest. So we had slightly longer off, gave guys the time to heal, and came back to work on Tuesday ready to go,” explained Pacha. “It was kind of like a new beginning for us now towards the end of the season with the playoff push, so we started form scratch re-learning our systems. Mindset was the biggest thing, but second was definitely health. This past weekend we had six defensemen, and our guys there played excellent. Then the forwards had more jump and came up with the rest.”

He continued: “Now we have to go game by game. It’s kind of irrelevant where we want to be, it’s now about how we react over these 20+ games until the end of the season, and how we play in them. The big thing is to play consistently, and it’s what we’re trying to do – although the league is so tight and consistently inconsistent it makes it hard sometimes as a coach to evaluate everything when anyone can beat anyone!”
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