DEFENCEMAN Neil Liddiard has heaped praise on Swindon Wildcats netminder Renny Marr ahead of the club’s two crucial NIHL South One fixtures against Bracknell Bees and Peterborough Phantoms this weekend.

Aaron Nell’s side host Bracknell tonight before the Cats travel to main title rivals, Peterborough, on Sunday evening.

Both games are likely to have a significant impact on the outcome of the title race, with all three teams still in with a realistic chance of topping the table.

And Liddiard, now in his 25th season as a player, insists the work of netminder Marr should not go unnoticed by supporters amid the club’s inspired league form.

He said: “In my opinion, Renny Marr is the best goalie in the league.

“It makes a huge difference, as a defenceman, knowing that I’ve got Renny behind me.

“He’s vocal, which helps us all out. He’s had a great season and I hope he finishes it on a high.”

The Phantoms currently trail Swindon by three points in the league table, but do have two games in hand, while Bracknell are four points behind the Cats having also played 32 games.

Meanwhile, second-placed Basingstoke Bison are a single point behind Nell’s side with a game in hand, but were served a psychological boost last week when knocking Swindon out of the NIHL South Cup.

The Wildcats’ two-legged loss has done little to knock morale in the locker room, though, according to Liddiard – who is expecting two physical battles this weekend.

He said: “We’re gutted that we got knocked out of the South Cup last weekend, but we ended the game well.

“We dominated the third period (at Basingstoke) so we will have to take that confidence and performance and carry that over to this weekend.

“We’ve got a great bunch this year, everyone gets along well with each other.

“Playing wise, we’ve got everything a team could need – depth in all departments.

“Bracknell is always a tough team to play. It’s a bit of a local derby, and they are a physical team.

“They’re well-organised and coached. But I’m sure Aaron (Nell) has done his homework and is aware of what we need to do to get the job done.

“Sunday will be a huge game – all the remaining league fixtures are like play-off games now.

“We can’t afford to slip up and drop points. Peterborough is a tough rink to play in – it’s bad ice, the boards are bad too.

“But we’ve got results there in the past, we just have to go there and do it again.”