AARON Nell said it would not be game over if his side lost the first leg of their National Cup semi-final against Telford Tigers at the Link Centre tonight (7:30pm).

The Cats welcome Telford to Wiltshire as the opening prize of the 2019-20 campaign draws ever closer, with the return leg in Shropshire taking place on Wednesday January 29.

Nell’s side qualified in second for the cup competition ahead of Peterborough Phantoms and Hull Pirates as the first two rounds of league fixtures doubled up as cup games.

Now the knockout stage has arrived, the Cats’ chief is keen for his side to take some kind of advantage to Telford Ice Rink, though it would not be the end of the road should a narrow loss come about according to Nell.

He said: “Over the last two years, we’ve had a lot of these two-legged ties and we’ve experienced winning and losing having played at home first, last or whatever.

“We’re very evenly matched, so it will just be a case of whoever plays best on both nights.

“Hopefully we can take a lead to Telford, but if we don’t it’s not the end of the world either.

“It’s about playing well tonight and getting a good result.”

With midweek fixtures the only way to cram in the extra handful of cup matches, Nell said his players are looking forward to the novelty of icing in a competitive fixture during the week.

And as well as the excitement of being tantalisingly close to a third successive season with a trophy to the club’s name, Nell believes his team can do themselves a massive favour by edging past the league leaders over two legs.

He said: “The league is the most important trophy to win at the start of the year, and Telford are in a great position for that.

“But every competition is important, and the reality is that one team is just four games away from winning the first trophy of the season.

“It’s a very important competition for us, it’s something we want to try and win, and I hope we can do.

“Telford are the top team in the league, but I think all four teams that are left could easily win the competition and anyone could beat anyone that is left.”