SLOUGH Jets player-coach Slava Koulikov believes his side did not deserve to lose at Basingstoke Bison on Sunday.

The Jets have been in inspired form in recent weeks, after Koulikov took criticism for axing Gregg Rockman in favour of Kamil Jarina.

The unknown Czech conceded seven on his Hangar debut but thwarted title-chasing Bison on more than one occasion last weekend.

Slough eventually lost 2-0 at Planet Ice, but Koulikov insists his resurgent stars can take plenty of positives from the defeat.

Speaking to the Observer, he argued: “Kamil’s been excellent for us, he gives us a lot of confidence to play. He was man of the match against Peterborough and Sheffield, and has been influential in us picking up points.

“I’m pleased with the performance because Basingstoke are one of the top three sides in the league, and to be honest we did very well.

“We kept up the pressure in the first period and played well in defence. It was an even game where both sides had chances to score, we hit the crossbar and their goalie played very well.

“Basingstoke have got a lot of good players but we matched them well and played some decent hockey.

“We deserved to get something out of the game but sometimes things just don’t go your way. I’m very pleased with the performance and it’s something we can build on.” Bison took the lead in the ninth minute through Cam Wynn but had to wait until the dying seconds to secure the points when Aaron Connolly capitalised on an empty net.

The defeat followed what Koulikov described as a ‘crucial’ 6-3 win against Sheffield Steeldogs on home ice on Saturday.

Slough took a mere 13 seconds to open the scoring through Ciaran Long but Lee Haywood equalised with a powerplay goal in the 11th minute.

Koulikov restored the lead at 14.39, Mindy Kieras added another moments later, and a second Long strike in the 18th minute put the hosts 4-1 up before the first buzzer.

After a goalless middle period, Koulikov scored on the powerplay at 48.55 before Steve Duncombe pulled one back with a deflected effort in the 51st minute.

Ales Padelek made it 6-2 late on, but Sheffield stuck to the task and had the last say when Craig Elliot bagged a consolation goal with six seconds left on the clock.

“It was nice to see us score when we had to,” commented Koulikov.

“It was a crucial and very pleasing win because we went into the game tied on points.” Slough entertain Swindon Wildcats this Saturday (6.30pm face-off) before making the short trip to fierce rivals Bracknell Bees on Sunday (6pm).

Koulikov said: “Swindon are a good side with a lot of outstanding individual players but results have not been going for them. Bracknell is always a big game and the fans always look forward to it.

“Obviously they are two teams that are close to us in the league so it will be tough, but we have our targets for the weekend and will go in with a gameplan.” **PICK up a copy of the Observer, out now, for all the latest sports news and action** **FOLLOW the Observer on Twitter @Observer_sports**