AARON Nell has warned his Swindon Wildcats players that he will not tolerate anything less than a pair of full-throttle performances this weekend.
The Cats chief was irked by his side’s display as they slipped to a 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Peterborough Phantoms on Wednesday night and on Saturday, Sheffield Steeldogs visit the Link Centre before Nell takes his troops to the Bracknell Bees on Sunday.
The Swindon head coach doesn’t plan to entertain any excuses as he aims to inspire his team to improve on their seventh-placed standing in the English Premier League table before the regular season concludes in just over a month’s time.
“We’ve put a lot of pressure on ourselves after Wednesday – not because of the result but because of the performance,” said Nell.
“The result just happens. If we had lost and we had left it all out there and we were unlucky, then you hold your hands up.
“But I think we were very, very flat – that was basically everyone – and we’ve put a lot of pressure on ourselves, and on Saturday night, we need to be flying.
“I don’t care if anyone’s tired or whatever. They need to go and be ready because Sheffield are going to smell blood.
“Sheffield are going to think: ‘we’ve got a chance here’ and we’ve got to make sure that we make up for Wednesday at the weekend and get back on an upward trend.”
Nell was particularly frustrated to see Swindon come up short after they took high-flying Milton Keynes Lightning to overtime last Saturday before battling to a penalty-shot victory over a spirited Bracknell a day later.
He added: “I know we didn’t win (at MK) but we were very good.
“To play like we did on Saturday night, with the bodies we had out, in that rink, in that situation; if that game would have been at home, we would have beaten any team in the league.
“We get out of jail on Sunday, with a little bit of hard work at key times, and then on Wednesday, we’re just flat, and we can’t afford that.
“It’s a very simple game.
“It’s not just the players – it’s myself. We’ve all got to be better. If we want to be a team like Peterborough or Basingstoke, who overachieve, then we’ve got to be consistent.”
Sam Bullas is expected to miss this weekend’s clashes with Sheffield and Bracknell as he continues to recover from a foot injury while the club are waiting to see if import Max Birbraer will receive any suspension after he was ejected for charging against the Phantoms.
However, teenager Jordan Kelsall – the division’s fourth-youngest player – will be back available.