VETERAN defenceman Neil Liddiard has urged his Swindon Wildcats teammates to remain level-headed for this Friday’s Autumn Cup final.

Aaron Nell’s troops take on Basingstoke Bison at Planet Ice in the opening leg of the final, before welcoming them to the Link Centre next Friday for the final instalment.

The last time the two teams met was just over a month ago at the Link Centre, where Bison ran out as 5-2 winners in NIHL South One.

The 40-year-old is under no illusions that Bison are a tough test and says Nell’s side need to stay switched on for as long as possible.

“You’re not going to win the game in the first leg. They’re tough games because you have to stay focused for the full 120 minutes,” he said.

“I think the team that wins is the team which makes the most mistakes. You can’t get too high if you get a few goals up, because anything can happen.

“Then the other way, it is the same, they are going to score goals so we have to make sure we don’t panic or try and do too much.

“You just have to stay level headed as much as you can for 120 minutes.”

The clash was originally pencilled in for last week but fell victim to the weather and was subsequently cancelled.

Liddiard, who is in his 25th season as a senior player, admits it was frustrating the original fixture was called off but thinks it could be a blessing in disguise as it allowed them to recover from a hectic schedule.

“We couldn’t really practice through the week and we were all raring to go for Friday and now we can’t wait to get going this Friday,” he said.

“I think we could be better prepared now than we were a week ago. Everyone knows we had a busy schedule over the past month or so, now we have had a bit of a chance to rest and refocus.

“Over the last month we have probably only trained two or three times tops, it has just been game after game.

“I’ve never really had to play that many games in such a short time before. It was tough, but we got through it.

“Training is good because can work through systems and prepare for teams. Everyone wants to play teams but you definitely need to practice as well.”