SWINDON’S Paul Swindlehurst says Matias Perkkio should be given time to grieve following the death of his father, Markku.

Perkkio Jnr missed the weekend double-header with Slough as he had flown home to be with his family, the club stating the Finn’s absence would be indefinite.

And D-man Swindlehurst feels the import should only return to the Link Centre when he is ready, something the Wildcats hierarchy are keen to enforce.

“You don’t wish that on anybody and after Christmas as well,” said Swindlehurst.

“You can’t put a time on how long he’ll be away, if a family member dies you can’t rush him to come back. All our thoughts are going out to him and hopefully he comes back soon.

“You put yourself in his shoes and realise how he would feel, you wouldn’t want to be pressured to come back.

“I think this weekend and next weekend we will all pull together and get used to him not being here.

“As soon as he comes back we will welcome him with open arms and he will fit into the squad again.”

With Perkkio absent, new boys Henri Sandvik and Ollie Betteridge have played their part in filling the void, and Blackrod-born Swindlehurst has been impressed with the duo.

Swindlehurst said: “Henri’s a good guy to have in the changing room, he’s fitted in really well.

“He’s talkative and not a shy person.

“Ollie’s the same.

“He’s just turned 17 but he doesn’t look out of place on the ice, like when he scored on Sunday.”