AARON Nell says the fact Swindon Wildcats will have to achieve something they have so far failed to do this season if they are to reach the final of the Autumn Trophy – claim victory away at Peterborough Phantoms – holds no fear for his side.

The two teams face a winner-takes-all semi-final second leg this evening at Planet Ice after last week’s opening duel ended in a 3-3 draw at the Link Centre.

Swindon have already travelled to Peterborough three times this season but have returned to Wiltshire empty-handed after 7-4, 3-2 and 6-2 defeats to the current NIHL South One league leaders.

However, after tasting knockout success already this week following a resounding 14-2 aggregate victory over London Raiders in the quarter-finals of the NIHL Cup, player-coach Nell says they must believe they can repeat the trick against the Phantoms.

“I think Peterborough are the favourites being at home and having got the tie at our place last week but it is a one-off game and if we want to be successful this season, we are going to have to learn to win games like this,” said Nell.

“We are looking forward to it but it is going to be really tough. Peterborough is a tough rink to go to and we haven’t won there in a long time but we are going to give it our best shot and hopefully get a big result.

“I think the games against Peterborough have been the best games so far this season. I am sure this is going to be another great game and hopefully we can be the better side on the night.”

Back-to-back victories over Raiders took Swindon’s tally to eight wins from 11 games since the pre-Christmas break and Nell hopes his side do not let their standards drop now.

“We have been good since Christmas and in the last two weeks, I think our level has got even higher,” said Nell.

“Since Christmas it has been really positive and now we need to get over that next hurdle and try to win in Peterborough.

“We are looking forward to it. These are the games we want to play in and we can’t wait for Thursday.”

A sickness bug has set in amongst the camp in recent days, while Jordan Kelsall is definitely out of tonight’s match because of a leg injury, but Nell hopes to be able to call upon forward Toms Rutkis,who is currently on a two-way deal with Elite League Cardiff Devils.

Nell said: “There has been a bit of sickness around but we came through the last game quite well and we are hoping to have Toms back for Thursday but we will just have to wait and see.”