PLAYER-COACH Aaron Nell does not believe Swindon Wildcats’ three-match losing streak is indicative of any wider issues as his roster contemplate their biggest match of the season so far.

Sunday’s 5-3 reverse at Bracknell Bees completed a disappointing five-day stretch for the Link Centre men, who also slipped to defeats at London Raiders last Wednesday and at home to Basingstoke Bison on Saturday night to in all probability kill off any prospects of a top-two finish in NIHL South One.

With the gap between the third-placed Cats and the Bison and Peterborough Phantoms above them standing at five points, Nell’s side appear unlikely to improve their league standing before the end-of-season play-offs, throwing extra focus on their progression in the cup competitions.

Swindon are already assured of one final, in the Autumn Trophy, but will be looking to reach a second by coming through the semi-finals of the NIHL Cup, the first leg of which is at home to Telford Tigers on Wednesday.

While the Cats would prefer to be heading into that meeting in better form, Nell believes their recent results can be put down more to misfortune than any wider team failings.

“I thought we actually played quite well,” he said of Sunday’s Bracknell result. “Especially for the first two periods, I thought we were really good.

“We had some chances and at the minute, we’re not putting the puck away. For the month or six weeks before that, we have been scoring lots of goals and we dried up a bit this week.

“But we’ve just got to keep working and then the luck will come and we’ll start scoring goals again.”

Phil Hill and Luc Johnson twice restored parity for Swindon at Bracknell, but the Bees pulled clear during the latter half of the final period.

Nell added: “It was frustrating because for those first two periods especially, I thought we were really good. We came back into the game at 2-2 and it was great.

“Then we had a goal disallowed, which we think should have been allowed. That would have made it 3-2 to us which would have been a different game.

“But that’s what happens and it’s part of the game. Sadly, we were on the wrong side of the scoreline.”

He added: “I think the (league) top two is going to be difficult. It was always going to be difficult.

“I was hoping we would have had a better week but I think the fixture congestion could have got in our way, to be honest.

“When Peterborough had eight games left we would have played 16 so we’re playing a lot of games right now and it is difficult.

“We need to keep on pushing. We’ve got a massive cup game coming up on Wednesday night that we’re going to be ready for.”