McEwan's happy with Stingrays' rate of progress
TEAM owner Bobby McEwan says he's pleased with Rapid Solicitors Hull Stingrays' progress – even if they fail to book an Elite League play-off spot.
Stingrays must beat Sheffield and Coventry this weekend and hope their rivals' results go in their favour, otherwise they will finish outside the top eight in the bottom two places.
But McEwan says no matter what happens he deems his first season at the helm a big success.
He said: "I'll be disappointed, but missing out was something I contemplated in pre-season.
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"It's annoying when you think we've lost nine times in either overtime or on penalty shots in the league.
"If we'd won even half of them we'd be sitting mid-table and won our Conference already, that's how close it is."
The club's former owners, Coventry Blaze, bowed out on an on-ice high after the Rapid Solicitors Stingrays beat Sheffield to reach the play-off semi-finals for the first time last April.
However, their decision to step down ushered in a long wrangle over Stingrays' purchase, amid rumours of a string of unpaid bills.
Add in negotiations with rink owners Hull City Council on the ice-time contract, which took until June to resolve, and Stingrays were already behind the proverbial eight-ball in terms of team building and financially.
There were plenty of cynics, who felt the 53-year-old Glaswegian would be lucky to get to 2013 without hitting financial trouble.
"The doubters said we'd be bust by Christmas, that was the massive thing which drove me on," said McEwan.
"This weekend sees our last games of the regular season and we'll have made it.
"It's a massive sense of satisfaction because I've been here 25 years, through thick and thin, but to be in charge and owning the club it's a different ball game."
Asked how close the club is to breaking even, McEwan remains coy, saying he will sit down next month to work out the exact position.
However, he insisted: "The bills are paid and everyone has been taken care of.
"The last I wanted to hear was 'Stingrays are struggling with cash' popping up through the media, then people would start to doubt you straight away.
"That was one of the big things, so I have made sure everyone has been paid.
"When I took over all we had were ideas in our heads to put the whole plan together and do it.
"I've been really pleased with the way it has come together, I'm happy with where we are just now.
"Unlike this year, we'll have plenty of preparation time this summer.
"We've already starting selling season tickets and we've got players signed and sealed even before this season has finished.
"The feedback from fans is they have enjoyed this year, it's been fun."