Hans: I will be back

HANS Andersen will be back in Ipswich Witches' colours tonight at Poole tonight but the 23-year-old Dane admitted the last few days have taken their toll.

HANS Andersen will be back in Ipswich Witches' colours tonight at Poole tonight but the 23-year-old Dane admitted the last few days have taken their toll.

Andersen was accused of gamesmanship in the final heat of the World Cup Final on Saturday night, as Sweden's Peter Karlsson rode off to victory, leaving Great Britain's Scott Nicholls a disappointed second.

It led to furious exchanges in front of the television cameras, with Andersen being blamed for allowing Karlsson to pass him.

Straight after the meeting an upset Andersen flew home to Denmark and although the official line was that he damaged a finger in an accidental clash in the pits with Tomasz Gollob, he probably could have ridden for the Witches at Eastbourne on Monday.

Andersen said: “This has upset me a lot, a great deal. I don't think people realise what this sort of talk and these sort of accusations does to a person.

“There is no way I would just let Peter Karlsson win the race, why should I? It doesn't bother me who wins.

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“I was damned if I did gate and damned if I didn't. Could you imagine the fuss if I had not bothered to gate and just let Karlsson come across me and head off? Then I would have been accused of letting Karlsson gate on me too easily.

“You only have to speak to any rider at the final, Karlsson was twice as quick as any of us. I don't know why, his bikes were just set up perfectly and he was riding out of his skin.

“I had no interest in hindering Scott Nicholls, he is with me at Ipswich. I knew he was in the race, I didn't want to get in his way either.

“On the television, riders like Kelvin Tatum are mouthing off about me. It was disgraceful. Tatum wouldn't let it go, on and on and on he went. It's not my fault Britain didn't win the World Cup, but I was the easiest person to have a go at because I was in the last race.

“In the end I just wanted to get home, it was just too much. I have had all the rubbish about being the new bad boy, like Nicki Pedersen, which I don't accept, and now this. You can only take so much criticism and this has really upset me.”

Andersen has been shocked by much of the comment about his actions, although it was noticeable during TV coverage of Monday night's Eastbourne v Ipswich match that there was not so much discussion about the incident. This was possibly due to a letter from Andersen's lawyers on the matter.

Fears that Andersen's time in England - or with the Witches - is over are groundless because this is not on the Dane's agenda. “I have booked my flight and am riding at Poole for Ipswich on Wednesday,” he said.

“I am looking forward to riding for the rest of the season for the Witches. I have no problem with Ipswich or the people there, many of whom have been supportive.”

The Witches were thrashed on their last visit to Poole.

The Pirates are set for top spot in the Elite League but the Witches will have at least the bonus point on their minds tonight, having beaten Poole by seven points at Foxhall last month.

Paul Pickering will again be at No.7 with both teams at full strength.

Poole: B Pedersen, K Kasprzak, M Ferjan, A Lindback, R Sullivan, D Davidsson, M Zetterstrom

Ipswich: H Andersen, K Jansson, J B Jensen, C Louis, S Nicholls, D King, P Pickering.

Meanwhile, Ipswich Witches' Supporters' Club are holding their end of season dinner dance at the Galleria Suite, Portman Road, Ipswich on Friday, October 29. Tickets cost £24 for members and £27 for non-members and can be purchased at the Supporters Club lounge at Foxhall Stadium during

tomorrow night's meeting against Eastbourne.