The Jets have been gripped by controversy since the release of Ryan Watt, Gregg Rockman and former captain Michael Wales.

And things got worse when a 4-3 loss against Swindon Wildcats was followed by a 6-2 defeat at rivals Bracknell Bees last weekend.

Koulikov says decisions off the ice have been taken out of his hands, but has challenged Slough to get their season back on track.

Speaking to the Observer, he stressed: “It’s one of those things and everyone has to deal with it.

“It’s out of my hands and out of the team’s hands. We have to collectively be strong as a group and be positive.

“When things like this happen it does affect us on the ice, but it’s for us to get through it and move on. The only things we can correct are those on the ice.

“A few things have happened but until recently we had achieved our target of almost three points a weekend, which takes you into the top three.

“We’re not going to get down after one weekend, but we have to work harder and get out of it.” Koulikov is convinced Slough did not deserve to be beaten by Swindon at the Hangar on Saturday, where Jonas Hoog netted a late winner for the Wildcats.

“We played really well, especially in the third period,” he argued. “We put a lot of pressure on them and were disappointed not to score again.

“Going into the third period we had all the confidence but in this league every team can win on any night.

“We put on a lot of pressure and dominated them but sometimes that happens. You go all out and their goalie plays really well, then they get a chance at the end and take it.” However, he admits Slough only have themselves to blame for the defeat Bracknell on Sunday, suggesting Lukas Smital’s early shorthand goal was a turning point in the derby.

“As a team it was a disappointing result,” he bemoaned. “We came to try to get the points but didn’t do that.

“The game was 50/50, then we conceded a shorthanded goal and it rolled from that.

“When you go three goals down, no matter what team you are or who you’re playing, you have to try to get them back which is not easy away from home.

“It was disappointing to go three goals down and that was the turning point straight away, but it happens.

“We’re going to have to go back and regroup and look forward to next week.” Slough return to home ice for the visit of Peterborough Phantoms this Saturday (6.30pm face-off). They have won both their previous meetings with the Phantoms this season.

On Sunday, the Jets travel to Telford Tigers (5.30pm) bidding to improve upon the defeat they suffered in their only other clash this year.

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