SLOUGH JETS head coach Lukas Smital believes that confidence has been behind their improved performances in recent weeks.

The Jets reversed early season form to beat Cardiff Fire 6-2 at home on Saturday - their second win of the campaign.

Luke Dreelan was the star on show with his hat-trick while Timo Lindgren netted twice and Smital also found the target.

Player-coach Smital told the Observer: “It was a good win and we played well. We’ve had good possession and were quite resolute in defence.

“The chances we had we executed and I was very pleased with the performance. I thought we dominated from start to finish and the result was never in doubt.”

He added: “This team is improving and mostly it’s about confidence.

“A lot of these players didn’t win many games last year, but we’ve tried to bring in a positive attitude and the players are starting to show what they are capable of now.

“It looked like the players were all positive on Saturday and that definitely pleased me.”

Slough were unable to follow up on Saturday after a 6-5 defeat at Basingstoke Buffalo where Lindgren, Liam Underdown (2), Ben Eastwood and Nathan Darmain were all on target.

The defeat leaves The Jets in 12th position in the National Ice Hockey League South Two league table ahead of a visit from bottom side Lee Valley Lions this Saturday (6pm).

Smital said: “To be fair, I thought we started really well on Sunday. We were playing really well and then for whatever reason we dropped our levels to what Basingstoke wanted.

“We couldn’t raise our tempo or keep the momentum going and that killed us. We were not outplayed but made two or three crucial mistakes and that killed us.

"It gave Basingstoke confidence and momentum and we could not find a way to break that and secure the points. I was quite disappointed but it's still a positive weekend for us.

"We've got people that have not played at a senior level before or some older ones that don't have enough experience in tight games. That's were Basingstoke’s confidence and experienced showed.

"They knew how to read the situation and where to keep the puck and not push on and we got a little scared, but again I'm not going to be overly disappointed because these things happen.

"I see fewer of these mistakes happening so hopefully we're on the right path forward.

"It's all about little steps at this level, if we can take three steps forward and one back then I will be happy.

"We're not going to win the game but good performances would be great.

"The players are happy and confident and that's important in the long run, to build a platform to move forward in future seasons."

Looking ahead to the visit of Lee Valley, Smital said: "We're not underestimating anyone and every game is different.

"The players can't afford to turn up and think they're going to win, we're not at that level yet. They've got to be ready for the fight and we will try to get the win."

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