'We are a team - we win and lose as a seven'... Ipswich Witches boss Hawkins hails his table-topping side
PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:19 21 May 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Witches team boss Ritchie Hawkins has hailed his side as they sit top of the Premiership table.
The Foxhall outfit beat Wolverhampton Wolves on Monday night and with it went three points clear of their west Midland rivals and Belle Vue Aces at the summit.
It has been an impressive start to life in the Witches' new surroundings after their move back to the sport's top tier in the winter.
And Hawkins knows team spirit is proving key.
"We are a team, when one rider is struggling, the others have to compensate for him and that will work the other way around on another day," he said.
"That is what teams are and we win and lose as a seven."
The Witches' narrow 46-44 win over Wolves was their seventh straight win at Foxhall in all competitions in 2019. They have beaten all the other Premiership sides home or away and Hawkins admits his team are not just strong on the track, but strong off it.
"In previous years we would have let the Wolves meeting slip away - we showed a strong mentality," the boss added.
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"We knew it was going to be tough, they had got a strong heat leader trio, so it was always going to be hard for us and we were a little weaker than normal with Jake Allen out injured.
"However, we still got the win and they say the best teams win without being at their best."
Danny King and Cameron Heeps were key to the victory against Wolves and Hawkins says the pair have a deep passion for the club after spending several years in Suffolk.
"They are our two stalwarts," Hawkins said.
"Danny and Cam have been here for so many years like me. It is not just a speedway team, the club means a lot to them, they have the passion for Ipswich speedway and they put everything into it.
"We all get criticised and get some stick at times, but it means a lot to them, it's not just a job to them."
The Witches now have a couple of weeks off before heading to the National Speedway Stadium at Belle Vue on Monday, June 3 for a Premiership clash with the Aces, before entertaining Peterborough at Foxhall three nights later.
Allen will know more on his injury this week as he is set to have scans on his damaged shoulder.
"It would be great to have Jake back soon and hopefully a couple of weeks off will be good for him. It has been a brilliant start to the season for us, better than anyone could have expected so there are no complaints being top of the league."