SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell is hoping the return of himself and D-man Sam Jones to the team will give the rest of the players a timely boost ahead of their NIHL South One home fixture against Invicta Dynamos on Saturday.

Nell has missed the last two weekends with a shoulder injury, while Jones has been absent from the teamsheet since Swindon’s 5-4 away defeat to Bracknell Bees on November 25, with the Cats amid a tough run of form having lost four of their last five games.

Swindon take on bottom side Invicta on Saturday night before travelling to the Raiders on Sunday, a team that inflicted their second home defeat in a row last weekend.

Nell admitted that while the previous two home games in particular have irked him, the overtime loss to Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday did at least show him that the team are ready to fight for results again.

He said: “It hasn’t been the best run of results, but we had a good performance against Peterborough last Sunday and we’ve got to build on that now.

“The last two home games haven’t been good enough, but we’ve got to bounce back now and start moving forward again.

“The Peterborough game was the one where you could see that we had something about us and the effort the players put in was great and we’ve got to build off that now.

“We take great pride in our home form and the last two games at home haven’t been good enough, but the way we bounced back in Peterborough on Sunday was good and it’s something to build on.

“Over the last two weeks, at times, we have missed myself and Sam (Jones), but I’m sure any team would miss two of their better players.

“We’ve got a big enough team to be able to get through that, but hopefully Sam and I coming back in will help and give us a boost.”

Tomorrow’s fixture is not only the Wildcats’ Christmas spectacular game, but it will also feature a ‘teddy bear toss’ as soon as the home side score their first goal.

Nell is excited for the event and said that this game has come at a perfect time for his side as a feel-good fixture can help turn their fortunes around.

He said: “The teddy bear toss is for a great cause, and around Christmas, things always start to ramp up. What we need to do is put the last two weeks behind us and start winning some hockey games and feeling good again.

“The way you do that is through hard work.

“We have lacked intensity over the last two home games and if we get back to that, then we’ll rediscover our success, and hopefully that will start on Saturday.”