SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell has told his team that they must defend their goal better after throwing away leads in both of their opening league matches.

The Wildcats were seven goals to the good against London Raiders at the Link Centre on Saturday, but conceded six without reply before a two more home goals saved Swindon’s blushes.

And in their away game at Hull Pirates on Sunday, Nell’s men were 6-4 up late on before conceding twice to take the game to overtime and once more as the Pirates took both league points on offer.

While three points from four is a more than respectable start to the National League campaign, Nell is far more concerned about the manner in which those points came about and said his players must react in a more positive fashion when a goal is conceded.

“We’ve got to defend leads better,” said Nell.

“When you’re defending a lead, it’s not just the D, it’s the whole team.

“Our defence has been excellent over the first three weeks, and against Hull last weekend, I’d never seen them work so hard.

“You’ve got to remember we had the best defenceman in the league last year in Sam Jones, but he’s moved on, so there’s a big adjustment for us all.

“When we’re ahead in games, it requires a total-team defence – that means the forwards and the defence.

“We’ve got to be stronger as a group on the ice and close out those games.

“Last season, we did, and we’ll get back to it, but it’s just a case of making sure we’re a little bit smarter in those key situations.”

The Wildcats resume their campaign this weekend when facing Peterborough Phantoms at home on Saturday, and Nell believes their upcoming opponents will present an entirely different challenge to Hull and London, albeit a difficult one all the same.

Swindon’s player-coach has an eye on improving quickly and is keen to see great strides made by his team when facing an old foe from last season.

Nell said: “This weekend’s games will be a different test to last weekend’s games, but it’s going to be just as tough.

“No other team is as attacking as Hull, so it will be a different test for us, but it’s still going to be difficult.

“It’s going to be another good game, and what we’re finding is that there are no easy games.

“We’ve still got things to work on ourselves, but overall, last weekend was positive and hopefully we can take those positives into this weekend and have another good one.”