Smillie hails Witches fightback

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches team manager Mike Smillie paid tribute to his side after their 51-39 victory over Wolverhampton at Foxhall Stadium.Looking almost exhausted with emotion, Smillie knew this was a massive result for the injury-hit Witches as they turned round a four-point defecit to take not only the victory, but also the bonus point.

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches team manager Mike Smillie paid tribute to his side after their 51-39 victory over Wolverhampton at Foxhall Stadium.

Looking almost exhausted with emotion, Smillie knew this was a massive result for the injury-hit Witches as they turned round a four-point defecit to take not only the victory, but also the bonus point.

“I'm really stoked for the boys,” he said.

“It was a meeting of two halves and, apart from Scott Nicholls and Kim Jansson, everyone was down early on. We were quiet in the pits, which is unusual for us.

“But we were a different team in the second half of the meeting and the confidence simply returned. This is a big result for us, with the spirit in the side shining through.

“And it was great to see Hans Andersen and Scott rattle off two maximums in heats 13 and 15, as they have had their problems racing together. But that's all behind us now.”

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Indeed Andersen was a very happy man last night. He, like many of his team-mates, had not shown his true form early on but came to life in no uncertain terms, linking up with Nicholls for two crucial maximums at the death.

“We all came good when we had to and if the fans wonder why I didn't go round to celebrate at the end of my victories in heats ten and 13 it is because as far as I was concerned the job had not been done,” he said.

“When Scott and I got the maximum in the last heat then it was time to celebrate, but it is all about winning as far as I am concerned and I was not celebrating until we had done that.

“All the boys came good, but in the beginning they out-gated us. But we got ourselves sorted out and in the end it has been a great night.”

Man of the match Kim Jansson, clutching a large bottle of bubbly presented to him for his performance, said: “I am a very happy man tonight and have ridden three times already this week, twice in Sweden, but I haven't got the points I felt I deserved.

“Tonight that was different, and certainly I got no free points given my way.

“This is a terrific result for us, bearing in mind we were without Jesper and Danny.”

Maximum-man Nicholls said: “In the end everybody did what they had to do and to get the bonus point was a terrific achievement without our injured riders.

“Hans and I rode well and communicated well because the likes of Mikael Max and Sam Ermolenko are not slow and they very much wanted to win.

“But this keeps us right on track for where we want to be come the end of the season”.

Daniel King said: “I rode with a new engine but it went awfully and I am not particularly happy.

“But as regards the team, it was important we won and we can win this league.”

Wolves' American star Sam Ermolenko said: “I dislocated my thumb in heat nine, and from my point of view the night was over.

“We came here to win and were on track to do so, but it all went horribly wrong.”

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