Matt Haywood admits Manchester Storm weren’t happy at how their round robin phase of the Elite Series has ended, but want to make amends in the play-offs.

Storm finished the 12-game campaign bottom of the standings, which means Sheffield Steelers stand in their way for a place in the best-of-three final series.

And Haywood reckons their semi final opponents, who they’ve beaten twice, are a good match for them.

“We’re disappointed with the way the round robin games ended, especially the last couple of games,” he said. “Going in as fourth seeds isn’t the best thing, but we’re using it as motivation for this play-off series and start afresh.

“Coming up against Sheffield is a good match-up as all the games have been close and we’ve won a couple as well.  We both play a fast, hard-hitting kind of time, but hopefully we can string a couple of performances together and find our way through.

Haywood also spoke of what it’s been like to get back into game shape as the competition has gone on, but admits it’s been a tough ask after a year out because of the pandemic.

“It was tough to get back into the swing of it,” he added. “Not just physically, but even mentally at times as well, trying to read the positioning and getting the lungs and the legs going.

“It has been difficult, but I’m starting to feel like my old self again and hopefully it gives me what I need to start preparing for next season.

“Hopefully it keeps me ticking over and by the time next season comes around, I’ll be ready to go again.”