Swindon Wildcats Head Coach Aaron Nell wasn’t over the moon to have been pitted against the Guildford Flames in the Quarter-Finals of the EPL Play-Offs and admits his side will be in for a tough test.
It was announced this morning that the Cats will have to see off the Flames over two-legs in order to reach the Finals Weekend at Coventry next month, with the first-leg on home ice at the Link Centre on Saturday 26th March (5.45pm Face-Off).
Wildcats will then head to the Spectrum the following evening (6pm Face-Off) hoping to get the job done and book their place in the final four for only the third time in seven seasons.
However, Swindon struggled against Guildford during the regular season having lost four of the six meetings played out between the two teams, and Nell is well aware that his charges will have to produce their best hockey of the season in order to advance through to the semi-finals.
“I can’t say I’m happy (to have drawn Guildford) but we’re more focused on ourselves and how we’re going to play,” he told SteeleDavis Sports.
“Whoever we got was always going to be a tough game and they are all good teams.
“Guildford are very good and we’re going to have to be at our best to go through.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re on our game and are playing well.”
And Nell has stressed the importance of his team remembering that there are two-legs to navigate.
“You’ve got to take it as a 120-minute game and you can’t win it in the first 10-minutes, but you can lose it,” he added.
“It is important to look at it as one big game and make sure we play well in each period.
“Everyone is up for it and we’re excited to get going.
“We’ll keep it the same (in training), we’ll do a bit more preparation because we know it is Guildford now, but apart from that we’ll keep it the same and we’ve got to make sure we are ready for a tough weekend.”
Finally, Nell was delighted to round off the regular 2015/16 campaign with victories against the Hull Pirates and the Telford Tigers at the weekend – both matches ending in 7-4 scorelines in favour of the Cats.
“It was good and we played well, especially on Sunday night,” the forward continued.
“But it doesn’t really mean anything now, we’ve got to get ready for next weekend and it is a clean slate.
“All eight teams are going to think they can win.”