PHIL Hill reckons that Swindon Wildcats can be a force to be reckoned with in this season’s play-offs - if they can keep their collective cool.

There is less than a month to go until the end-of-season shake-up gets under way, with this year’s revamped play-off format seeing the Cats take on three other teams home and away in a four-strong group, the top two qualifying as semi-finalists for finals weekend at Planet Ice in Coventry on April 8-9.

In the meantime, Aaron Nell’s side have seven more regular season assignments to tackle and forward Hill believes that if his team can overcome the disciplinary shortcomings that blighted them during their 5-4 defeat at Bracknell Bees last weekend, Swindon can make their mark in the race to Coventry and beyond.

“It felt like we lacked a bit of discipline in key moments and it cost us, and going into the play-offs, it’s the kind of stuff we need to cut out of our game,” said the 34-year-old former Great Britain international.

“We’ve been doing well at coming back but it was a bit too much, and going in to the play-offs, discipline is going to have to be cut out because it’s tough to kill a lot of penalties.

“Usually, the teams that go all the way stay pretty healthy.

“We’ve gone through a little rough patch and hopefully, going into the play-offs, that will ease up a bit and we’ll get guys back (from injury).

“You’ve got to all buy in, and we’ve got a team that’s doing that.

“We’re going to big rinks, which you’re going to have to do in the play-offs, and we’re getting results and we’re playing well, and we’ve got to take a lot of positives from the games we’ve been playing recently.

“You look in that locker room – we’ve got guys that have been there and done it, and we’ve got some high-end talent.

“It’s an exciting time and guys have probably been looking forward to it for a long time.

“It’s a different format this year.

“Teams are going to have to come to Swindon – there’s three games there – and it’s starting to become a rink where teams know they’re going to be in for a game, and they’re not going to look forward to going there – that’s the way it has to be.”

Hill arrived at the Link Centre midway through the season from Telford Tigers and is enjoying life with the Wildcats following his December switch.

The Welshman said: “It’s tough at first. You’re meeting new guys but I was lucky – I’d played a few up in Cardiff, so it made the transition easier.

“In terms of systems, it takes a couple of weeks. It’s a great group here. Everyone gets on.

“I was fortunate enough to come to a team like this, where it’s an easy fit for me.”

Sixth-placed Cats host Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday (face-off 5.45pm) before making the trip to the Sheffield Steeldogs on Sunday (face-off 5.30pm).