SLOUGH Jets head coach Lukas Smital has explained the match against Oxford City Stars this Saturday will define their whole season, writes Rob Stevens.

The Jets welcome Oxford to the Slough Ice Arena (5.45pm) with the National Ice Hockey League title within their reach, leading by three points with two matches still to play.

Slough beat Raiders Junior 9-4 on Saturday before second-placed Solent Devils suffered defeat at Chelmsford Chieftains on Sunday.

The results keep the Jets in pole position and Smital wants his side to focus on winning in the remaining weeks of the season.

He told the Observer: “People think our position at the top has been strengthened but it makes no difference if we lose to Oxford on Saturday. It would definitely be a stronger position had Oxford lost last weekend.

“We need to just get out there and win because it’s all in our hands and not about what others do.

“We just need to focus on winning and what we need to do to make that happen.

“This game will define our whole season but to get into this position is great.

“We’re all excited because this is why you play ice hockey and I’m sure there will be a big crowd on Saturday.”

Smital continued: “One little mistake now can define your whole season but we know what our strengths are; we are solid going forward, have a good goalie and we’re defending well at the moment.

“We have confidence in ourselves but need to play at our best, and we have for most of the season.

“We know how big the game is and that we need to be ready. We are all thinking about it but we’re not going to change anything.

“The minute you try to do things different players sense uncertainty from the coach, so we trained as usual with a little bit of fun and hard work but all in good spirits.

"We know how big it is and we are all thinking about it but we're not going to change anything."

Smital added: "Back in September we were a totally different team with a lot of new guys. The lines weren't there and we sill had a couple of players missing due to work.

"The difference between then and now is massive and we all know it, but at the same time Oxford will probably know it as well."