SWINDON Wildcats player-coach Aaron Nell has the utmost confidence his players will be able to pick up a win in NIHL South One without him on Saturday night as he nears the end of his time in Estonia with the Great Britain U20s squad.

The Wildcats have called on ex-Swindon coach Ryan Aldridge to fill Nell’s coaching shoes on Saturday as the Cats host Streatham before the player-coach returns for Sunday’s away match at Milton Keynes Thunder.

Before their winter break, Swindon had picked up consecutive four-point weekends and with Peterborough Phantoms three points in front at the top of the table while having played two fewer games, Nell has stated the importance of continuing their winning momentum this weekend if they are to catch the league leaders.

And despite having previously struggled without their leader on the ice, Nell stated his unwavering belief in his side to get the job done this time around.

He said: “The boys will be fine without me on Saturday. We’ve got a very good team and if they work hard and stick together, then it doesn’t matter who is on the bench.

“As long as they come out with the right mindset and work as a group, they will be fine.

“I’ve got a lot of trust in the players – they’re a good group and I know that they want to keep this good run going.

“They’re going to be two tough games – especially on Saturday against Streatham – and we need to make sure that we keep the momentum going that we’ve created in the last couple of weeks and put in a good performance.”

In the five meetings between the two sides this season, the home team has only won once – the Wildcats claimed a 4-3 victory in a pre-season challenge match back in September.

The Cats cannot afford many more slip-ups if they are to catch Peterborough and Nell is aware of the threats Streatham will pose to his side, but claims hard work and desire will carry his players through.

He said: “Streatham work extremely hard and they’re very well coached.

“Their top players are very good, so we’ve got to be aware of them and they’ve got an excellent powerplay, so discipline will be important.

“It’s like with all teams – you’ve got to make sure you outwork them and you want it more and if you do that, with a team of our quality, you have a great chance to win.

“It’s a big game for us, but if we work as hard as we have done over the last few weeks then we’ll be on our way to getting a good result.”