Smillie hits roof ahead of Aces clash
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches team manager Mike Smillie goes into tonight's Sky Bet Elite League match against Belle Vue fuming.Smillie says that thanks to changes to the Aces' line-up the Witches will have their work cut out at Foxhall Stadium tonight (start 7.
IPSWICH Evening Star Witches team manager Mike Smillie goes into tonight's Sky Bet Elite League match against Belle Vue fuming.
Smillie says that thanks to changes to the Aces' line-up the Witches will have their work cut out at Foxhall Stadium tonight (start 7.30pm).
“I want to know why Tobias Johansson is not riding. He has hardly scored a point for them this season yet is being replaced tonight by Antonio Lindback, who has an average of 8.46,” he said.
“And Antonio is bang in form scoring a paid 19 points for Poole last night. Belle Vue have given no explanation as to why Tobias is missing.
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“With their regular side I would fancy us to win quite well, but with the changes it will be very tough.”
With Witches asset Toni Svab in a serious condition in a Manchester hospital after breaking his thigh and suffering an infection, and with Tomasz Jedrzejak riding in a Polish pairs meeting, Belle Vue have been forced into changes.
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But this has benefited them because of the omission of Johansson. “If he has been dismissed then Belle Vue should not be able to have any guest facility,” said Smillie.
“And if he has been injured I would like to know where. The only other way they can use a guest is if he is withholding his services.”
With two riders missing, Belle Vue must use rider replacement for the one with the highest average - Svab - and a guest for the lesser - Lindback for Johansson.
Scott Robson, who scored 14 points for Rye House at Foxhall last season, joins fellow floater Rory Schlein at reserve in place of Jedrzejak.
Ipswich's task is made harder as they could attract no guest to replace their number one Scott Nicholls, who is still not fully fit but is going to Poland to try to make his comeback in Saturday's Grand Prix.
If Nicholls does not ride at Peterborough on Monday it will be no easy task to get a suitable guest with Polish League meetings Sunday and Sweden League matches on Tuesday. Danny Bird will also be missing.
And on Wednesday at Poole, Ipswich must find a lower order guest with a Premier League average up to nine points - and not connected with an Elite League club.
This is because neither Bird nor his fellow floater Trevor Harding are available and squad member Garry Stead is riding for Hull. Jan Staechman has withdrawn his position as a Witches squad member after being under the misapprehension that he was a floater for the club.
Tonight, every Ipswich rider can have a rider replacement ride, with only GP favourite Jason Crump barred from taking extra rides for Belle Vue.
Ipswich: H Andersen, D Bird, JB Jensen, C Louis, Rider replacement for S Nicholls, D King, K Jansson.
Belle Vue: J Screen, A Lindback, Rider replacement for A Svab, K Bjerre, J Crump, S Robson, R Schlein.