THE Bespoke Guardians Swindon Wildcats head coach Aaron Nell believes his side must beat Sheffield Steeldogs this weekend in the first of two back-to-back games if the Link Centre outfit is to snatch fourth away from the Yorkshire club.

After a slow start to the NIHL campaign, Swindon began to win more regularly after Christmas and now sit eight points behind Sheffield with 13 fixtures remaining.

The Wildcats only play the Steeldogs twice more in the regular season – with the first of those matches coming on Sunday at the iceSheffield complex.

Having already beaten the Yorkshire side three times to one in meetings this term, Nell is confident his players can manage it again and knows they have to if they want a higher seeding in the play-offs.

Nell said: “It would be a great achievement to catch Sheffield. If we don’t win these two games against them then I don’t think we can.

“The numbers turn against us if we don’t beat them twice. If we beat them twice, it will still be a very tough task, but we’ve got a better chance of doing it than if we lose.

“The games against Sheffield have been good this year and we’ve had success. If I was a betting man, I’d say we’re probably going face them in the play-offs.

“We’ve had success against them this year, and we want to keep that going. We have to be ready for them because I’m sure they will be up for this game.”

But before the Wildcats face their potential play-off rivals, they must first claim two points at home to the Bees at the Link Centre on Saturday night.

The Slough-based side are still in contention to extend their season, but they will have to go on a far stronger run than they have managed so far this year.

Nevertheless, Nell knows the Bees cannot be overlooked. He said: “They’re still on the outside of the play-off picture, but they’ll continue to fight every night to try and sneak in.

“You have to make sure you’re playing at your top level to beat them. They took Peterborough very close last week, only losing 3-2, and they took a point in Bristol.

“They’re very motivated to win still, they want to prove themselves, and we have to be ready for them on Saturday night.”