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Louis admits Witches face a tough start to the season as pundits tip Ipswich for the top

Ipswich Witches 2017. Clockwise from bottom left Kyle Newman, Connor Mountain, Rory Schlein,  Nico Covatti, Cameron Heeps, Danyon Hume and in centre Danny King (captain), pictured at the Ipswich Speedway studio shoot at Ipswich Sports Club, Henley Road. Photo: STEVE WALLER

Ipswich Witches 2017. Clockwise from bottom left Kyle Newman, Connor Mountain, Rory Schlein, Nico Covatti, Cameron Heeps, Danyon Hume and in centre Danny King (captain), pictured at the Ipswich Speedway studio shoot at Ipswich Sports Club, Henley Road. Photo: STEVE WALLER

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Witches director of speedway, Chris Louis admits his side faces a ‘tough start to the season’ when the tapes go up at Foxhall on Saturday night.

The Suffolk side entertain Sheffield Tigers in both side’s opening Championship clash of the season.

The Yorkshire side are, along with the Witches, many pundits’ favourites for success this season. Hitting the ground running with a solid victory would be a superb start to the 2017 season for Louis.

“We appear to be one of the favourites, according to many,” Louis said.

“Yes, I can see why, this is certainly one of the best, if not the best, Witches septets we have put together since we moved into the Premier League, now Championship.

“Everyone is expecting us to do well, but it’s a long season and much can happen.”

The Suffolk side held their press day at Ipswich Sports Club today, but practice was cancelled with the weather inclement.

That allowed the riders to continue to bond, as they played squash during the afternoon. The team are hoping to get on track tomorrow and Thursday afternoon, ahead of Saturday night’s opener.

“The back end of the season was good for us, but we can’t afford to start as poorly as we did last year,” Louis continued.

“It’s a difficult start to the season for us, with two Championship clashes with Sheffield and a knock-out cup home and away clash with Berwick.

“But we’ve enjoyed a good get together today and had a good chat about the season ahead.”

The Witches will be led once again by Danny King, British Champion and the team’s No.1

He got his season up and running with a paid 12-point maximum against Peterborough on Sunday and was delighted with the way his opening meeting of the season went.

“It was a good afternoon for me at Peterborough,” King, who was riding for Coventry at the weekend, said.

“I felt really good, it was a nice start.”

King will lead the side in 2017, along with fellow heat leaders Rory Schlein and Nico Covatti. Covatti, who joined the Witches two seasons ago and saw his average leap from four to seven points, is hoping to have a more consistent 2017.

“I’m very focussed at Ipswich, so I was a bit disappointed I was not more consistent last year,” he said.

Rotherham manager Paul Warne is expecting a January bidding war for Ipswich loanee Kieffer Moore.

Ipswich Town host Sheffield Wednesday in a televised Championship match tonight (7.45pm ko). STUART WATSON previews the action.

Playing wide right in a fluid front four suits David McGoldrick, says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy.

Mick McCarthy and Callum Connolly have both lavished praise on Blues midfielder Cole Skuse, with the Ipswich Town boss insisting the consistent performer is ‘as good as anybody’.

Danny Rowe still has a future at Ipswich Town, but is free to leave the club on loan in a bid to force his way into Mick McCarthy’s team.

Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy has told lead striker Joe Garner not to worry about his mini goal drought and implored him never to lose his fiery edge.

Emyr Huws and Teddy Bishop could both play a part for Ipswich Town against Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow night, manager Mick McCarthy has confirmed.

Ipswich Town host Sheffield Wednesday in a televised Championship clash (Sky Sports) tomorrow night.

Sheffield Wednesday head coach Carlos Carvalhal has called for the club’s supporters to get behind his players ahead of tomorrow night’s televised Championship match at Ipswich Town.

Episode One: Stuart Watson and Andy Warren discuss Ipswich Town’s draw at Hull City, hear from Mick McCarthy and Jordan Spence and make the first pitches for football’s Room 101.

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