Simmons holds out warning to Witches

IPSWICH Witches team boss Peter Simmons issued a warning to his riders ahead of tonight’s big clash with Poole Pirates at Foxhall Stadium.

IPSWICH Witches team boss Peter Simmons issued a warning to his riders ahead of tonight’s big Elite League clash with Poole Pirates at Foxhall Stadium.

Poole are the current league leaders and are sure to give the Witches a huge test, and Simmons reacted angrily ahead of the meeting.

“A team place at Ipswich is no longer a job for the season. And the riders need to know that,” he said.

Simmons and director of speedway Chris Louis were left furious by the team’s inept performance at Belle Vue on Monday night, where only Scott Nicholls and Danny King came away with any credit.

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“Years ago riders may have thought a team place at Ipswich was secure for the season whatever happened. But that’s not the case now,” Simmons added.

“We’ve got a fantastic track producing brilliant racing and the crowds are up. But they want to see a winning team, we know that. And we won’t put up with many more performances like the one against Belle Vue.

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“If I was a football manager and my team performed like they did on Monday, I’d be sacked. But this is speedway and the riders have to stand up and be counted.

“OK, so our meeting at Belle Vue was only the third of the season, so there is no need to get over-excited. But I’m looking for a vast improvement against Poole.”

If the Witches were to make changes they can only bring in a rider with the same, or less average, than the one they replace.

Rumours of Rory Schlein leaving Coventry and joining the Witches are wide of the mark, as he would only be able to replace Robert Miskowiak or Scott Nicholls, something that isn’t going to happen.

However, Simmons and Louis have clearly marked a few cards and it’s up to the riders to respond.

On the team front, the Witches change the riding order in an effort to shake things up, with under-fire Olly Allen moving to No 2, Claus Vissing to three and Danny King to four.

Linus Sundstrom is undertaking a mammoth road journey from Sweden to ride at reserve and will be welcomed back after his impressive debut two weeks ago.

Poole will be without GP star Chris Holder who is on his way to the opening GP of the season in Poland, Troy Batchelor replaces him.

Darcy Ward, Davey Watt and Bjarne Pedersen are all world-class racers and it’s not hard to see why Poole are title favourites already this season.

Tonight’s teams

Ipswich: 1 S Nicholls, 2 O Allen, 3 C Vissing, 4 D King, 5 R Miskowiak, 6 D Stachyra, 7 L Sundstrom

Poole: 1 T Batchelor, 2 J Doyle, 3 D Watt, 4 D Ward, 5 B Pedersen, 6 L Madsen, 7 A Mroczka

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