McEwan spells it out to disgruntled Stingrays fans
TEAM owner Bobby McEwan says he will not jeopardise Hull Stingrays' long-term future for short-term success on the ice.
Stingrays have won just twice in 16 games to sit bottom of the Elite League, six points off the play-offs.
And their hopes of emulating last season's play-off semi-final appearance are receding week by week.
"My priority has not changed since I took over the club in the summer," said the owner of the Rapid Solicitors Hull Stingrays.
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"Making sure the club is financially sound and the bills are paid, that was my number one target, and still is. We need to keep the club healthy, there's no pressure to win titles or make the play-offs.
"I want to put things in place to make sure we are here for the long-term, that's my number one target."
He acknowledges fans are growing restless, looking at the team struggling at the bottom of the table.
And as a former player, he understands their hunger for success.
"I know some fans are bitching, but my goals have not changed, even if other people's have," added McEwan.
"It's not a five-minute fix and we will be Elite League champions, that's not going to happen.
"As a sportsman it kills me to be bottom, but I have to look at things long term.
"Thinking back, by the time we could sign players officially in the summer everyone else had just about finished team building."
And McEwan insists Stingrays' displays are simply not garnering the points return their efforts deserve.
"We're playing good hockey," he said.
"Yes, Sunday was a blow-out, 10 or 15 minutes of madness, but Edinburgh had six chances and scored six goals. In that spell, if they'd fallen into the Humber they'd have come out with a salmon in their pocket."
McEwan insists Stingrays can leapfrog Edinburgh and this weekend's opponents Fife and clinch a top-eight place.
"I don't see why not. We took a point out of Braehead on Saturday, but we do need players to chip in and help Jereme Tendler out on the goalscoring," he said.
"We are beginning to pick up points against Coventry and Cardiff, but it's no good doing that and losing to sides in our own conference. That's where we have to get stronger and finish games off."
In a bid to increase their chances, Stingrays are in the market for another forward before the signing deadline.
They are also still carrying a "spare" import, but that situation is almost certain to change in the next 10 days.
"We're still talking to people so we'll see how things go, but it's quite hard to find players at this time of the year," said McEwan.
"There's only 10 weeks left so some players don't want to move and you have to think why are they available if they're not attached to clubs.
"We've been carrying an extra import for a while, so we'll see how fit everyone is after the weekend as a couple are carrying knocks."