Witches will fight ‘tooth and nail’ says Louis... Also his thoughts on the lack of Championship fixtures...
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Witches promoter Chris Louis has said his team will fight ‘tooth and nail’ to secure a Championship play-off place.
The Suffolk side are back in action on Foxhall Heath tonight, 7.30pm, when they take on champions Sheffield Tigers.
It’s been a poor start to the season for the Witches, who have only won one meeting in their opening eight.
They are out of the Championship Shield and out of the KO Cup. All that is left is the Championship itself.
But Louis is determined to still make 2018 a season to remember.
“After the start we have made we have got to fight tooth and nail now for the play-offs,” he said.
“It’s been a poor start, we know that. We’ve had a few injuries as well. But riders are coming back and we can’t afford to lose home meetings.”
The Witches have not ridden at Foxhall since they lost to at home to Lakeside in the KO Cup – a meeting that saw skipper Danny King crash out with a serious arm injury.
King is only now returning to racing, but such has been the gap between fixtures for the Witches, the Peterborough-based flyer hasn’t missed a home meeting!
MORE: Witches v Tigers preview
“I don’t make the rules about the fixtures,” Louis said.
“Let’s just say I’m as frustrated as our fans and riders at such big gaps in them this year. Personally I wanted to run two home and two away meetings as we did last year.
“Then again, getting knocked out of the Cup and Shield hasn’t helped us. So we have made our own luck in that respect.”
The Witches have only ridden three league meetings, a home win over Newcastle, a draw at Newcastle and a defeat a Berwick.
It’s an okay start in a league where away victories are proving elusive – just two in 24 meetings ridden all told, so far.
“It was a reasonable draw at Newcastle and but for a bit of officiating that I felt didn’t go our way, could have been a win,” Louis said.
“But we could have got more at Berwick, especially with Rory Schlein getting an 18-point maximum.”
Schlein’s form so far this season has been the biggest plus for the Witches and the Aussie takes over the No.1 race jacket from King tonight.
“That doesn’t worry me,” Louis said.
“I will have both riders in heat 13 and possibly heat 15. I will have a strong rider in Rory out in heat one and Danny out three heats later.
“Both are top riders.”
VIDEO: The Danny King column...
And as regards tonight’s opponents, Sheffield, Louis added: “Sheffield are very much like us so far.
“They retained their top four from last season but it hasn’t worked for them yet, a bit like us.
“But I’m sure both us and Sheffield will come strong as the season progresses.
“July and August are going to be very busy months for both clubs.”