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No Russian revolution yet for Hounds

PUBLISHED: 18:34 07 October 2009 | UPDATED: 16:29 07 September 2010

Greyhounds Ashley Curtin is blocked by a Chelmsford player during the English National Hockey League South D1 game between Haringey Greyhounds and the Chelmsford Chieftains at Alexandra Palace on Sun Oct 4, 2009

Greyhounds Ashley Curtin is blocked by a Chelmsford player during the English National Hockey League South D1 game between Haringey Greyhounds and the Chelmsford Chieftains at Alexandra Palace on Sun Oct 4, 2009

Max Flego Sports Photography

GREYHOUNDS collapsed to yet another heavy defeat on Sunday as new coach Sergey Smolenko's first game in charge ended in bitter disappointment. Russian Smolenko replaced Lee Mercer as the man at the helm...

GREYHOUNDS collapsed to yet another heavy defeat on Sunday as new coach Sergey Smolenko's first game in charge ended in bitter disappointment.

Russian Smolenko replaced Lee Mercer as the man at the helm, while Mercer will now line up in the Greyhounds' defence for the rest of the season.

The Hounds' new coach arrives with plenty of experience, having coached rivals Lee Valley Lions for the last three years, and before that spending a year in charge of the London University Dragons.

But he recived a brutal baptism of fire at Alexandra Palace on Sunday, as his new team slumped to their sixth defeat in the first seven games of their season.

Michael Ranby found the net for the home side, but that was as good as it got as Chelmsford utterly dominated the contest. Darren Brown was Haringey's tormentor-in-chief with four goals.

But despite his team's latest setback, Greyhounds' owner Jan Bestic remains upbeat over the future, and is confident Smolenko can take the Greyhounds up the table.

"We won our first game of the season the other week, against Peterborough, and that's how we expect to play every game," said Bestic.

"He (Smolenko) brings a lot of discipline and a different style of play, moving the puck quickly and keeping the game at a higher tempo. We think he can push as forward and we want to learn as much as possible from him."

"We believe we can win the league, but the play-offs are the target. To finish in the top five would be amazing and you never know what can happen."

Both Bestic and Smolenko will be demanding better from this Sunday's clash at Oxford City Stars.

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