Simmons promises changes

PUBLISHED: 13:00 01 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:13 04 March 2010

IPSWICH Witches team manager Pete Simmons has confirmed that changes are to be made to the Elite League speedway team.

The Witches are in action against Swindon Robins in the Elite League at Foxhall Stadium tonight (start 7.

IPSWICH Witches team manager Pete Simmons has confirmed that changes are to be made to the Elite League speedway team.

The Witches are in action against Swindon Robins in the Elite League at Foxhall Stadium tonight (start 7.30pm) trying to erase memories of a dreadful home performance last Thursday.

Beaten 48-45 by bottom of the table Belle Vue in the Knock-Out Cup was the final straw for the Ipswich management, and Simmons revealed that moves have already been made to bring new riders to the club.

Last year's sensation Piotr Swiderski and Ipswich-based skipper Leigh Lanham are the two riders most in danger of losing their places after both have had a disappointing time in 2009.

And if the pair do well tonight it is likely to be too late for the management to alter their minds.

“We had a management meeting after the Belle Vue defeat and telephone calls were made around 10.30pm on Thursday night,” said Simmons.

“We are looking at more than one rider to bring in and we have the names of those we want.

“It takes three days to re-declare your side so we are set to be unchanged tonight, but there is a chance there could be a change or two in the line-up at Swindon on Thursday.

“After that it looks as though we are in for a fortnight's rest and this will give us chance to re-group and then go forward with a re-shuffled team.

“I am not saying that a dramatic performance against Swindon might not bring a reprieve, but it is unlikely as we can't allow things to go on as they have been.

“Gaining points is how riders gain their livelihoods and I sure every team member will give his all against the Robins.”

Simmons labelled the display against Belle Vue as atrocious and added: “It will be tough against Swindon and if we ride as poorly as we did against the Aces we will get murdered.

“This squad looked a solid unit when we put it together last winter and while some have risen to the task and done as requested others have been unable to do so.

“I must ask our fans to keep faith, and we will need their support against the Robins. But to turn things around we have decided that the only way is to bring in new blood.”

Ipswich have won their last six home league meetings, but they will find it difficult to make it seven against a side that includes the ever-dependable and highly skilled Australian Leigh Adams.

Carl Wilkinson takes the doubling up Ipswich berth against while fellow reserve Dawid Stachyra will benefit from a further rest after suffering painful injuries in last Monday's televised defeat Coventry.

A switch to Monday night home meeting is to fit in with Sky Sports, who will be showing the action from the heath tonight live on their satellite television channel.

Tonight's line-ups

Ipswich: J Hampel, L Lanham, T Kroner, D King, P Swiderski, D Stachyra, C Wilkinson.

Swindon: L Adams, S Stead, T McGowan, J Pavlic, M Zagar, K Stojanowski, AN Other.

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