CRAIG Moran hopes to rebuild Slough Jets’ ‘reputation’ in the summer after ruling them out of a late push for the play-offs.

Home and away defeats against Basingstoke Bison last weekend left Jets rooted to the foot of the English Premier Ice Hockey League.

They are seven points behind Bracknell Bees in eighth place and still have tough games remaining against Milton Keynes Lightning, Guildford Flames and Telford Tigers.

While they are not mathematically out of the picture, head coach Moran admits the focus now is on the future.

“At this stage you can write us out of the play-offs now, I just hope we do not finish bottom of the table as the boys who have come in do not deserve that,” he told the Observer.

“What it all boils down to is experience from the British players. They are all very young and will turn into top British players, but they have got a lot to learn and that is one thing holding us back. The boys are not giving up, they are giving everything they can.” Reaching the play-offs was always going to be a tough task for Moran after former head coach Slava Koulikov departed in December along with a number of key players.

The exodus left Jets with a threadbare roster and Moran has worked overtime to construct a competitive team.

Although it now looks as though they will finish in the bottom two in the EPIHL, there are plenty of positive signs for the future according to Moran.

“There has been some talk about players coming back next year but I need to see what budget we can have,” he said.

“We have had quite a lot of interest which I did not think would happen six-eight weeks ago. I hope we can rebuild the reputation we had, I do not intend to let it stay the way it is.

“It has been a great club with a great atmosphere, and we get more fans through the doors now. From the fans’ perspective, this year has been a success because they have been loyal and not walked away.

“They are not glory hunters and support the players and the shirt.” Jets will be looking to keep their faint play-off hopes alive this weekend when they host MK Lightning on Saturday (6.30pm f/o) followed by a trip to Guildford Flames on Sunday (6pm f/o).

They took both teams to overtime in their most recent meetings - losing to MK but beating Flames in a shootout - and Moran is confident his side can compete with the two top-five clubs.

“We can upset the top teams and you get enjoyment out of that,” he said. “We can change the standings and who plays who in the play-offs.

“We have taken Milton Keynes into overtime and they can be beaten. Guildford are a very good team and certainly have a lot of experience, but sometimes there might be too many individuals.

“We will have to battle because they cannot lose too many games, we have got to pull our finger out.

“It is definitely doable and there is no need to change anything. You never know what is going to happen.” **PICK up a copy of the Observer, out now, for all the latest sports news and action** **FOLLOW the </>Observer on Twitter at @Observer_sports**