HEAD coach Craig Moran insists Slough Jets will come back bigger and better next season after failing to make the play-offs for the first time in more than a decade.

The Jets lost to Sheffield Steeldogs and Swindon Wildcats on the final weekend of the season to leave them bottom of the English Premier Ice Hockey League.

It is the first time since Jets joined the EPIHL that they have not made the play-offs.

However, it was always on the cards after the mid-season upheaval that saw a number of players leave and Moran take over as head coach from Slava Koulikov.

And as Moran admits, the key now for Jets is to ensure it does not happen again next season.

“We would obviously have liked to make the play-offs and not finish bottom, but you have to except that with the lack of experienced players,” he said.

“In those last nine fixtures there were some close overtime losses, but after three or four it is hard to bounce back.

“I hope to build a team in the summer and we will certainly be better next year.” Moran added that he is confident Jets will remain an EPHIL team next season despite rumours to the contrary.

“I am pretty certain we will still be where we are next season,” he said.

“We have got to bring some top British players into the squad. They are the game-changing players really because they have the experience.

“Obviously there are some players we would like to keep, but nothing is 100 per cent decided.

“It was never going to be an easy task to get top British players in. It was never going to happen, but the young boys we did bring in played very well.” Despite finishing the season with a run of nine defeats in a row, Jets showed flashes of their potential in a shootout defeat to Guildford Flames and a couple of other close encounters.

But Moran says his side were ‘physically drained’ by the end of the campaign and added: “It is literally fatigue for the guys now, they have given 100 per cent this season.

“It is never a good thing but it is all we can do. We wanted to win on Sunday for Joe Gibson, our equipment manager for 20 years, as it was his last game before he retires, but unfortunately that did not 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**