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SWINDON WILDCATS: Skinns admits Cats have underachieved in regular season
SWINDON did not fulfil their potential during the EPL regular season, according to netminder Dean Skinns.
The ex-Slough gloveman believes Wildcats failed to make the top-four target set by head coach Ryan Aldridge due to a mixture of inconsistency, multiple injuries and player exits.
Fixtures against Guildford and Basingstoke round off the regular season this weekend and Swindon will hope to hold on to sixth place with Bracknell ready to pounce should they slip up.
The Link Centre side already know they will take on either Manchester, Basingstoke or Milton Keynes in the play-off quarter-finals, and Skinns reckons in different circumstances, the Link Centre side could have run those sides much closer at the top.
“I think we’ve proved we can be a top four or five team, but unfortunately we’ve had those injuries this year,” he said.
“We’ve also been a little bit inconsistent but we have missed Lee Richardson, who can play pretty much any position on the ice, plus Jonesy (Chris Jones) and Watty (Nicky Watt) left and they were big players for us. The only good thing that came out of that was that we got Henri (Sandvik) who seems to have re-sparked us a little bit.
“I’m not sure whether you can put your finger on why we’ve done well against the top teams and struggled against the bottom teams. “If we had a full squad I honestly think we could have pushed Milton Keynes and got to fourth.
“Finishing off our games is something we need to learn from for next season.”
Guildford wrapped up the league title on Saturday and then went on to win the EPL Cup following a second-leg victory over Slough on Wednesday, while Basingstoke pushed the Spectrum side all the way to the championship and will be among the favourites for play-off glory.
Skinns has played for both sides in the past and knows the importance of Swindon gaining momentum heading into next weekend’s play-offs.
“That’s what we’ve struggled with the last couple of weeks, for some reason we haven’t all been there,” he said.
“Maybe some guys are tired or it’s because the season’s winding down, it’s always hard to finish when you’re not challenging for a trophy.
“But we turned out on Sunday (against Guildford) and it was a shame we didn’t get the extra point because we played really well.”