Kim: No need for change

TRUMP card Kim Jansson believes “it would be stupid to change this side”, as he looked ahead to Ipswich Evening Star Witches clinching a place in the Knock-Out Cup final at Foxhall Stadium tonight.

By Elvin King

TRUMP card Kim Jansson believes “it would be stupid to change this side”, as he looked ahead to Ipswich Evening Star Witches clinching a place in the Knock-Out Cup final at Foxhall Stadium tonight.

The Witches won by three points in the first leg of the semi-final at Arena-Essex last night with the fresh-faced young Swede being paid for eight points from a reserve berth.

“I want to stay with Ipswich in 2005 and I would like to think that we can all remain,” stressed Jansson.


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“I appreciate that averages come into play and it may not be possible, but it would be stupid to change this team.

“We are good enough to win trophies and we plan to do that in this competition this year and then go on to bigger things next season.

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“I had a bad night at Wolverhampton last week in the league play-off semi-final and it was really sad that we did not win that match.”

Jansson, who made one mistake last night when he got too close to Leigh Lanham in heat two and spun off, was praised by Ipswich team manager Mike Smillie.

He said: “Kim is our trump card at reserve and he plays such an important part for us.”

Looking ahead to 2005, Smillie added: “Danny Bird has hinted that he will throw his lot in with Reading in the Premier League, but otherwise we can hopefully have the other six riders.

“With limits on team building and whatever the annual promoters' conference throws at us, our final seven may be out of our hands to some extent.

“All the lads did well and we must be pleased, but it is only half-time.”

Delighted promoter Louis said: “This team has been just as easy to deal with as our 1998 treble-winning side. They are all professional and all want to race for the club.

“We could not have written the script any better tonight, and we are in the driving seat for a final place. But it is not over yet.

“We won at Wolves in the A league fixture, and then were beaten at Foxhall and lost the aggregate bonus point.”

Louis confirmed that if Poole go through tonight after their big home first leg semi-final win over Swindon last night and if the Witches win on

aggregate, the KO Cup final would be staged at Poole on October 20 and Ipswich the following night.

Bird scorched to one good win, but otherwise failed to score. He said: “I will make up for it in the second leg.

“My damaged shoulder is still sore and it does concern me, but I am getting through the meetings and this Ipswich side deserves success.”

Witches asset Leigh Lanham top-scored for Arena-Essex and said that the Hammers would not give up fighting tonight.

“We would have liked to have taken a lead to Foxhall, but Ipswich are a good side and they were owed some luck after their exit from the league play-offs,” said Lanham.

“We will battle to the end and hope that races go our way. We have nothing to lose now.

“The rain appeared to help us and we perked up after the shower.”

Lanham stages his testimonial meeting at Arena-Essex on Friday, October 15, with world champion Jason Crump, Scott Nicholls and Chris Louis all in the field.

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