PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Chris Siegfried aspires to have a championship-level team.
“I don’t think this is a type of town that’s happy with just a team that plays average football, or any sport for that matter,” said the Pittsburgh Power head coach during a pre-game press conference Thursday at the CONSOL Energy Center. “Last time I looked, there’s a lot of championships in this neighborhood.”
The Power (7-4) moved one step closer to their goal of becoming champions after last weekend’s 35-32 victory against Cleveland to put Pittsburgh into sole possession of first place in the American East. With the victory, Pittsburgh extended its winning streak to four games.
Now, the Power are preparing for a matchup on June 11 in Tampa Bay, Fla., at 7:30 p.m.
Siegfried believes the contest against the Storm (4-7) will be “won and lost in the trenches,” adding if his team can protect quarterback Bernard Morris, they will have success.
“It’s going to be a hard fought game, and a good test to see how our offensive and defensive lines hold up,” he said.
Siegfried said he feels good the Power are in the playoff hunt, but knows there are still seven important games to be played in the regular season. Winning the East Division would automatically send Pittsburgh to playoffs.
Pittsburgh’s division has been beating each other up throughout the season, Siegfried said, and he feels in order to play in the postseason, Pittsburgh must win its division.
“That’s the only way to guarantee us to get into the playoffs, and that’s kind of the way we want it,” Siegfried said.
The past three weeks, games have been extremely close for the Power. Pittsburgh pulled off a 54-48 victory May 14 against San Jose and won a nail-biter in Dallas the following week, 76-75.
Siegfried said being able to win ugly is a good trait to have for a football team because not a lot of teams can do that.
Opening its first Arena Football League season with a 3-4 record, the Pittsburgh Power head coach said his players stayed together rather than losing focus.
“They didn’t have a lot of moaning and groaning at practice,” Siegfried said about the beginning of the season. “The guys just kept grinding. They knew it was just a matter of time until we kind of turned it around. We always had that belief, and we always kind of kept those guys focused and grounded.
“Now moving forward, the great thing is, you don’t see that many guys just kind of laughing and joking at practice. It’s still the grind. It’s still the focus that we need and I think that’s going to carry on. The minute a team thinks they’re good is when they are about to loose.”
Siegfried attributes the four consecutive wins and late success to Morris, who was injured earlier in the season.
“We’re a team that’s got a lot of potential, lot of positive things going for us right now,” Siegfried said. “But the main thing is we just got to continue that winning by any means necessary. I don’t really care about stats as far as what are scoring offense is, turnover ratio. Those are all stats the coaches use to stay employed in the off-season.
“The main stat we’re concerned about here in Pittsburgh is wins and losses. We want to continue winning games.”