Louis remains open minded

JOHN Louis last night admitted his Ipswich Witches speedway side were involved in the wrong sort of scrap.They take on fellow strugglers Poole Pirates at Foxhall Stadium tonight (start 7.

JOHN Louis last night admitted his Ipswich Witches speedway side were involved in the wrong sort of scrap.

They take on fellow strugglers Poole Pirates at Foxhall Stadium tonight (start 7.30pm) seeking a win that would help them avoid an end-of-season Elite League relegation play-off situation.

And they will be facing the Pirates without their two Great Britain internationals with Scott Nicholls en route to Latvia for Saturday's Grand Prix and Daniel King cracking his sternum while riding in Sweden on Tuesday.

“We are fighting the wrong kind of battle,” said Louis, who insists he is still open minded about what 2010 might hold for him.


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“We would much rather be battling for a top four championship play-off place, and it is not nice.

“We were happy with the 2009 side we selected and so were our fans.

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“But it did not click with Piotr Swiderski's average dropping by one and a half points and Leigh Lanham suffering from a hand injury.

“Poole is a meeting we have to win and we shall be going all out to build on our big victory over Eastbourne in our previous home meeting.”

There has been talk that Louis, who began his link with the Witches 40 years ago, will hand over his role of Ipswich promoter next year.

But he said: “I have read this, but if you want my story it is that I still have an open mind.

“No decision has been made and I am still enjoying it with the good times outweighing the bad.”

King is already having physio treatment, and it remains to be seen how long he will be out for with a decision still to be made on who will skipper the Witches tonight.

Simon Stead from Swindon will take King's place with Ipswich's search for a replacement hindered by the number of Polish League meetings taking place tonight.

Bjarne Pedersen is out after suffering headaches following races and former Witch Piotr Swiderski comes in for the Pirates.

Last season's champions Poole have hit a low this term and promoter Matt Ford has seen his club experiencing their worst crowds since he took over in 1999.

“I did not realise that our fans would stay away in such numbers if we did not provide them with a winning team,” he said.

Along with Belle Vue they look the most likely club to finish at the foot of the Elite League if Ipswich can advance up the table and avoid the wooden spoon, which would mean a relegation play-off situation with clubs at the top of the Premier League.

Ipswich: Rider replacement, T Kroner, R Miskowiak, S Stead, T Batchelor, D Stachyra, C Wilkinson.

Poole: Rider replacement, J Screen, D Davidsson, P Swiderski, C Holder, P Fry, S Boxall.

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