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Ipswich Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins issues rallying cry after ‘awful weekend’ for the club

PUBLISHED: 09:59 02 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:59 02 August 2017

Witches Director of Speedway Chris Louis (left) and team manager Ritchie Hawkins. It hasn't been the best of weeks for the Witches, on and off track.

Witches Director of Speedway Chris Louis (left) and team manager Ritchie Hawkins. It hasn't been the best of weeks for the Witches, on and off track.

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches look to get back to winning ways tomorrow night as they entertain league leaders Glasgow at Foxhall Stadium, in the Championship (7.30pm).

It has been a tough week on and off the track for the club as they lost their 100% home record last Thursday after a 46-47 defeat to Edinburgh. Following the defeat, planned team changes were rejected at the last hour, meaning the Witches will continue their campaign with the current seven riders.

Danny King skippers the side as usual, having represented Team GB in the World Games in Poland last weekend.

Justin Sedgmen and Connor Mountain maintain their places in the side and both will be looking forward to getting back out on track after a difficult weekend off the track.

Glasgow lead the pack in 2017 and look to be the team to beat this season having claimed points from 20 of their 21 meetings so far.

The visitors have a formidable heat leader trio of Richard Lawson, Aaron Summers and Richie Worrall and will provide the Witches with a stern test on Thursday.

Teen star Dan Bewley rides in the main body of the side and is a name many fans in the sport are excited to see progress.

Tomorrow is likely to be no different to the last time the Tigers were in town earlier this season as they claimed a point after a tight meeting that the Witches won 48-42.

“It has been an awful weekend for everyone involved especially the riders,” said team boss Ritchie Hawkins.

“All we can do now is put it behind us, there is no point in looking at the past now. I have got to work even harder than before and get it right now, that is my job.”

Hawkins says the only way to move on is to come back stronger from a rough situation as a team.

“It has been a tough lesson and when things happen in life that are hard or wrong, you have to pick yourself back up from it and come back stronger. I have tried to do that my whole life, nothing has ever been easy and I have learnt over the years that all you can do is get up the next morning and carry on working the best you can.”

Hawkins says he still has faith in the team and will work hard to get the best out of the current seven.

“We always had faith in the original seven and we wouldn’t have put it out there if we didn’t believe in it,” he said.

“I think with the advanced transfer deadline and the situation we were in, we had to do something but it was not possible. We have got to work hard to get things right with the team we have got rather than change now which is not a bad thing.”

The former skipper says that the team could not have asked for a tougher meeting on Thursday against Glasgow.

“We need to pull together now and we couldn’t have asked for a tougher test in a tougher situation. We have got to dig as deep as we can now as a team.”

Hawkins says he fully understands the frustration from the fans but added that everyone at the club is working hard to achieve the common goal of success for the club.

“You can understand the fans’ frustration,” he said.

“If you make changes people are unhappy, if you try to make changes there are people unhappy and if you don’t do anything it’s the same, you will never please everyone.

“From the start of last season, I have wanted everyone to pull together and I know this has put a big spanner in the works but at the end of the day we all want the same thing even if we have different views on how to get there. We all want success for Ipswich Speedway. We have got to keep that ambition in an unfortunate situation.”

Kids Go Free to this meeting and fans will have the chance to meet Danny King up by the turnstiles prior to the meeting.

Ipswich Witches:

1. Danny King (c) 8.88

2. Kyle Newman 6.14

3. Cameron Heeps 6.61

4. Justin Sedgmen 6.67

5. Rory Schlein 8.17

6. Nathan Greaves 4.65

7. Connor Mountain 3.18

Team Manager: Ritchie Hawkins

Glasgow Tigers:

1. Richard Lawson 8.86

2. Nike Lunna 5.96

3. Richie Worrall 8.74

4. Dan Bewley 5.90

5. Aaron Summers (c) 8.67

6. Tom Perry 3.68

7. Jack Smith 2.54

Team Manager: Stewart Dickson

Referee: C. Ackroyd

Championship Table

Team Pl Pts

Glasgow 21 52

Edinburgh 23 51

Witches 25 50

Sheffield 22 50

Redcar 24 42

Peterborough 22 36

Workington 16 28

Newcastle 22 28

Scunthorpe 24 20

Berwick 27 11

Two Ipswich Town stars will be looking to take a big step towards this summer’s World Cup over the next week while a host of younger players look to further their international careers.

Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has been impressed by Ipswich stopper Bartosz Bialkowski following his first call-up to the Polish national team.

Luton boss Nathan Jones is disappointed to lose the services of midfielder Flynn Downes due to international duty but is pleased to see the Ipswich Town youngster continue his development with England Under 19s.

Fighting for a place in England’s World Cup squad might be tough work for Burnley’s Nick Pope but it beats riding a milk float in the early hours of the morning.

Ipswich Town goalkeeper Michael Crowe was taken by surprise when he found out he had been called up for international duty, but is determined to learn as much as he can while away with the Wales squad.

Ipswich Town fans want to see young defender Josh Emmanuel given his chance in the first team next season.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy says Josh Emmanuel may be sent out on loan again next season.

Ipswich Town captain Luke Chambers hopes striker David McGoldrick has not played his last game for the club.

Season ticket prices, whether we’ll hear from owner Marcus Evans and manager Mick McCarthy’s future are the three big questions as Ipswich Town head into a two-week international break.

Did you hear about the Mick McCarthy press conference? He walked into the room, sat down, and apologised profusely to the loyal fans of Ipswich Town, writes Northstander Terry Hunt.

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