PLAYER-COACH Aaron Nell has put a premium on victory over Hull Pirates this weekend as he eyes a superior head-to-head record against one of Swindon Wildcats’ potential National League title rivals.

Nell’s men only face the Pirates – and the four other ‘northern’ teams – four times over the course of the season, and as such, the Cats chief believes those fixtures could prove crucial in the final standings.

Although it is still extremely early in the season, three of the current top four are made up of teams that Swindon will only play twice home and away, and a favourable record could be the difference between a spot at finals weekend or an early exit in the battle for league glory.

And although the Cats have sparkled at home so far this season, player-coach Nell does not expect a repeat of their previous two dominant scorelines when Hull visit the Link Centre on Saturday night.

Nell said: “I wouldn’t bet on it being 5-0 again, that’s for sure.

“If that happens, we would have played better than we’ve ever played, but I don’t expect the scoreline to look like that again this weekend.

“Even if we win, it’s still very early to be looking at league tables.

“It is a big game for us, though, because Hull beat us at their place, and although we got a big overtime point, we only play Hull four times over the season, so we want to win two of the last three games to be ahead of them on the head-to-head record.

“The way we’re playing at the moment, especially at home, makes it really exciting to play a game like this. We’re looking forward to it.”

Following the tricky home game against Hull comes an equally difficult visit to Bracknell Bees on Sunday, with the Berkshire side unbeaten on home ice since the competitive fixtures commenced.

The Cats gained revenge for a pre-season defeat at home by putting six past the Bees on the road a day later, but Nell does not think it will be plain sailing for his side this time around as they hunt a first four-point weekend of the campaign.

Nell said: “Bracknell are a different team at home. They haven’t lost at home in the league so far this season, and they don’t play Saturday night, so they’re going to be fresh and ready for us.

“We’re going to have a very tough game against Hull on Saturday that will take a lot out of us, so we need to make sure we’re ready to go again on Sunday and hopefully we can get that first four-point weekend of the season.

“We’ve done great at home so far, but we want that first away win.”