ALL pressure sits on Swindon Wildcats’ shoulders ahead of this weekend’s NIHL South One play-off quarter-final against Invicta Dynamos, according to player-coach Aaron Nell.

The league champions host struggling Invicta on Saturday before making the trip to Kent on Sunday, with the aggregate winner progressing to face either Bracknell Bees or London Raiders in the semi-final.

After recording only two wins from 42 league fixtures this season, Invicta would cause the shock of the season if they were to dump the Link Centre outfit out of the play-offs.

Aware of this, Nell has warned his troops against complacent play – stating that he expects his side’s work-rate to remain just as high despite facing weaker opposition.

He said: “Everyone is on a blank slate now. We need to make sure we push on and try to keep on improving.

“The play-offs is a big competition, one that everyone wants success in.

“Invicta have no pressure on them. The expectation will be a lot lower for them and all the pressure will be on us.

“We need to make sure that we’re playing how we can and that we play the right way.

“If we do that, we have a very good chance of winning.”

Following the celebration of their title success last Saturday, an understandably fatigued Wildcats side ended their regular season with a nervy 6-5 win at Milton Keynes Thunder last Sunday.

That performance delighted Nell, and he wants to see more of the same during the play-off campaign.

He added: “We didn’t end the game great on Sunday, but I was shocked how we started the first period.

“We were fantastic, and that’s all I ask for from the players. We were a little bit tired after our celebrations the night before.

“But the way we started the game was great to see. We didn’t have to start the game that well but we did.

“I was good to get another win and build some momentum for the play-offs.”

Meanwhile, memories of last season’s traumatic play-off exit hope to be cast aside for good.

Swindon were denied a spot at finals weekend in Coventry after Joshua Francis Kelly – an ineligible player – iced in the opening leg of the club’s semi-final against Peterborough Phantoms.

While the Cats scored 10 goals over the two legs, compared to Peterborough’s six, the Phantoms booked their spot in the regional final after Cats’ 4-2 first-leg win was reversed to a 5-0 loss.

“Last year the play-offs were traumatic after what happened, but we’ve learnt from that,” said Nell.

“Once you get to the end, you want to win that last available trophy.

“I know the players in the locker room want more success after last weekend’s efforts.”