SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell has set his sights on a hefty haul of points from the final two weekends before Christmas, stating it will allow him to deem the first half of the National League season a success.

The Cats currently sit second in the table having played 22 league games so far and have 30 still to go before the play-offs begin at the end of March.

Therefore, Swindon’s trip to Bracknell Bees on December 22 will mark the midway point in the campaign.

Before then, Nell’s side face a tough weekend schedule which sees them host third-placed Peterborough Phantoms on Saturday night before travelling to league leaders Telford Tigers 24 hours later.

After recent matches against fellow top-five sides Basingstoke Bison and Hull Pirates, Nell knows Swindon are in the midst of a testing schedule.

However, the Cats chief is determined to remain optimistic as his troops get set to welcome Peterborough to the Link Centre as he is well aware that this weekend could prove crucial come the final reckoning in the spring.

“Peterborough and Telford are two teams who we will probably be fighting it out with come the end of the season,” said Nell.

“The last two games against Basingstoke and Hull were against two of the top five teams, and this weekend will be two games against two of the top five as well.

“From this run of games, the goal was to win three out of four.

“Obviously, we didn’t want to lose the first one against Basingstoke, so we have got to go into this weekend against two very good teams and put in two very good performances. We have the capability to do that.

“We were desperate to win against Hull last Saturday and that was a key win for us.

“We had a great start to the season, then we had a wobble and now the next two weeks will take us to halfway through the season and, in my view, say if we have had a great start or just an OK start.”

Swindon faced Peterborough and Telford on the same weekend as recently as mid-November and were beaten in both matches.

Nell knows the Cats will have to significantly raise their game in order to avenge those results.

“We played both of these teams a couple of weeks ago and lost twice, so it is going to be a big challenge,” said Nell.

“We try to stay in the moment and take it one game at a time but the reality is that if we get two wins this weekend, we will probably look back on it at the end of the season and reflect that it was an important weekend.”