SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell has promised his team will respond with aplomb this weekend when taking on Bracknell Bees and Peterborough Phantoms in the National League.

Nell’s men agonisingly missed out on a place in the National Cup final after losing 11-10 on aggregate to Telford Tigers following a penalty shootout defeat on Wednesday.

Victory would have seen the Cats contest their third piece of silverware in as many years, however they will now need to set their sights on a league title or play-off win instead.

Still comfortably in second place on the National League ladder, Swindon face a struggling Bracknell outfit at the Link Centre on Saturday before testing themselves against third-place Peterborough Phantoms on Sunday night.

Asked whether Nell felt there would be any hint of a hangover from their crushing cup defeat, Nell said: “No, we’ve got no choice but to bounce back.

“We’re all bitterly disappointed to lose that semi-final on Wednesday, but we’ve got no choice but to go again on Saturday.

“It is what it is and there’s nothing we can do about it now.

“That’s sport – there are ups and downs – so we’ve got no option but to bounce back against a team in Bracknell that will be hungry and fighting for a play-off spot.

“Then we have Peterborough who are on a roll right now in a very difficult rink to get a result in.

“But we know what we’ve got to do, we will bounce back, and we need to take out our frustrations on the teams we’re playing this weekend.

“I think it’s good to be playing again so soon in our situation.”

Due to their cup exploits, Swindon will face five games in nine days as their league campaign continues in earnest.

Nell did not mention fatigue as an excuse when reflecting on defeat in midweek, instead congratulating Telford on their performance.

The player-coach felt his side had done enough to book their spot in the final, however an incredibly costly 30 seconds in the final period would ultimately cost the Cats a title opportunity.

Nell said: “We got back up by two goals, and then they scored two in the space of 20 seconds to bring themselves back into it – that was a bit of a killer for us.

“Telford were the better team over the course of the night, but we kept on hanging in there.

“We were well in the game for almost 50 minutes, we kept in control score-wise, but then they get two in 20 seconds and that swings the momentum back their way.

“And when it goes to penalty shots, it’s always a tough one to take.”