Rossiter predicts bright Tobi future

SWINDON Robins team manager Alun Rossiter last night predicted a bright future for Ipswich Witches speedway rider Tobi Kroner.

Rossiter praise for injured Tobi


Swindon Robins v Ipswich Witches

Sky Sports Elite League

By Elvin King

SWINDON Robins team manager Alun Rossiter last night predicted a bright future for Ipswich Witches speedway rider Tobi Kroner.

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The Wiltshire-based side entertain Ipswich in a return Elite League fixture tonight (start 7.30pm) with Kroner missing after suffering concussion in a heavy fall at Foxhall Stadium on Monday.

The German has to sit out for seven days with Ipswich using the rider replacement facility in his absence.

Second-in-the-table Swindon thrashed the Witches 53-38 on Monday, and they are expected to gain another success tonight.

Rossiter defended his rider Matej Zagar's part in Kroner's crash into the fence at full speed, and added: “Tobi is a great guy and a rider with great potential. I am pleased he is relatively okay after his crash.

“Ipswich are going through a little slump at the moment and need riders like Tobi to back up the points that top star Jarek Hampel will always provide.

“The Witches need strength in the middle order, and when you have given riders a chance you have to make a decision and make chances.

“We had to and it has worked out for us and we will be looking into Matej staying longer than the one month he is currently with us to cover for Troy Bachelor.”

Ipswich skipper Leigh Lanham has apologised for letting down Witches fans.

Two disappointing home defeats inside the last seven days and a failure to pick up a single away league point has led to Foxhall Stadium followers urging the management to make changes.

The season already looks all but over, and Lanham said: “I wouldn't blame anyone if I was sacked from the team.

“I want to say sorry for letting everyone down.

“Our heads are on the floor, and I would not rant and rave if the axe fell on me as has been suggested.

“In fact, it might do me some good in the long run.”

Lanham is still having hospital treatment for a bad finger injury he sustained in the opening meeting of the year, and the home town rider who returned to Foxhall this season after a decade at Lakeside is making no excuses.

He added: “Of course there is room for improvement. Ipswich fans deserve better and although we are all giving our best there is a massive confidence block in the team.

“It is something we can get over, but we have yet failed to recover after a dreadful start.

“The sight of first Kozza Smith and then myself being taken to hospital after bad crashes had an effect I am sure on the other lads.

“And at Coventry last week we rode like novices after watching Kozza and Dawid Stachyra taken out in no uncertain manner in heat two. The sight of that happening does have an effect.”

Lanham's scores at Foxhall have been patchy despite the fact he lives a stone's throw from the circuit, and it was a gamble him coming back to Ipswich.

But all could have been well after he won his second race of the season - he has not taken the chequered flag since - and was then seriously injured in his next outing that led to several weeks on the sidelines.

This affected Lanham and he has yet to fully recover, and he goes to hospital three times a week for treatment and might need another hand operation.

He deserves a deal of sympathy, although he admits: “We can't go on like this. The team has got to improve - with or without changes.”

Tonight's line-ups

Swindon: L Adams, T McGowan, J Pavlic, S Stead, M Zagar, K Stojanowski, R Fisher.

Ipswich: J Hampel, L Lanham, Rider replacement, D King, P Swiderski, C Wilkinson, D Stachyra.