SLOUGH Jets head coach Lukas Smital wants his side to push to win the National Ice Hockey League title this season, writes Rob Stevens.

Smital had been targeting a top-four finish but an incredible run of 19 straight wins sees Slough two points clear at the top with seven matches remaining.

Smital admits the Jets have over-achieved this season and he knows being at the top of the table comes with its own pressure, but he explained the players believe in one another.

He told the Observer: “We’re the first-placed team so all the other sides will be looking at us like that right now.

“The toughest part is to play like league leaders in every game because just one little mistake or slip-up and it could be gone.

“We just need to stay focused because it’s now harder than earlier in the season when we were chasing.

“It’s no secret that we have a good opportunity to win the league now. If it happens then great, but no-one will commit suicide or anything like that if it doesn’t.

“We’ve already over-achieved this season. The top four is now a given and I will take nothing less, and we will try to push for the title.”

Smital added: “It’s not about physicality because you’re not going to get faster or stronger, or be a different ice hockey player.

“It’s about confidence and your will to believe in each other.

“We also had a good break over Christmas which helped and the crowds are improving. They’re both factors that have made a big difference this season.”

Slough extended their winning streak with a comfortable 9-1 victory at Haringey Huskies on Saturday.

Goals from Sean Norris, Daniel Rose, Liam Underdown and Samuel Talbot gave the Jets a clear lead at the first buzzer.

The away side further extended their advantage in the middle period through Juha Lindgren, Nathan Awoyemi, Adam Rosbottom and Underwood.

Slough made it nine when Lindgren found the back of the net again in the final stanza, before Haringey got a late consolation goal via Luke Martin-Digby.

Smital commented: “It was the same story again. We pretty much dominated from star to finish. We were the better team all over the ice from the drop of the puck and there was no doubt about the win.”

Slough make the trip to Basingstoke Buffalo this Saturday (6.30pm) where Smital hopes some talented junior players can help the Jets to a 20th victory on the bounce.

He said: "We struggled in the last game against Basingstoke and got the win in the third period.

"We've got a couple of players missing due to work and other commitments and I'm still not in the line-up.

"We will have five or six junior players in the squad this weekend. They're good and hungry and played well last weekend.

"Hopefully the mindset will be strong and healthy, and junior players can make the difference, but it will be a tough game on big ice.

"You can't take anyone for granted because all teams can play ice hockey in this league. It's just about how much hope you give them.

"You can't go out thinking it will be another win then we can go home because you can get caught like that. I remind the players of that each time I see them."