PLAYER-COACH Aaron Nell says there is no “doom and gloom” in the Swindon Wildcats camp, although has stressed the need for hard work in their bid to return to top form.

Swindon suffered three National League defeats in a row for the first time this season on Sunday night when they went down 5-3 away at Bracknell Bees.

The Cats were also beaten at Sheffield Steeldogs on Friday night in a weekend on the road, while a loss at league leaders Telford Tigers the previous Sunday kicked off the losing sequence.

Swindon complete a testing run of four away games in a row on Boxing Day when they travel to Basingstoke Bison, and Nell is desperate to get back to winning ways.

The Cats coach says the overall outlook remains positive for his side as they are still second in the table.

However, nipping their blip in the bud before it extends too much further will be paramount if that upbeat view is to be maintained into January.

“When you lose a few games in a row there is always more pressure,” said Nell.

“I look at our Christmas schedule as a run of eight games, starting on December 20 away at Sheffield until January 5 away at Hull.

“We always plan to win three of four games, so from eight, we want to win six – and there are six games to go in this run.

“Hard work is what is going to get us out of this little slump. Friday night’s performance was not acceptable. That is the first game all season where we completely haven’t been at the races.

“Sunday was an improvement but still not where we want to be. It is a difficult run of games but we have just got to work harder.

“Where we are right now is not far off where I expected us to be at the start of the season.

“Telford are playing really well and are ahead of us, but there are also eight teams that are worse off than us.

“I am sure people think it is all doom and gloom but that is not the case. There is a long way to go, so we have got to have the confidence that we can play some good games and turn this around.

“Every player has got to step up at Basingstoke on Thursday, put in a big performance and try to get a big win against a good team in a tough building.”

Nell felt there were good signs from Sunday’s defeat at Bracknell that can be built on when his side return to action against Basingstoke.

The Cats were dominant in the opening period in Berkshire but failed to make it tell on the scoreboard, which allowed the Bees to stay in the game before ultimately taking control.

“There were positives from Sunday’s performance against Bracknell but Friday night at Sheffield is a game we would rather forget,” said Nell.

“We started the first period at Bracknell by out-shooting them 18-4. We were dominant but when you don’t score in that situation, you give the opposition a chance.

“Bracknell were always going to get better in the second and third periods – and that is what they did.

“We played so well in the first period but when you don’t score, you make it a tough game for yourself for the rest of the way.”