Covatti injury blow for Witches as Louis admits ‘elements’ are missing in the Ipswich team

Witches promoter, Chris Louis. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

Witches promoter, Chris Louis. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches promoter Chris Louis admits ‘elements’ are missing from his team right now, as they slumped to a second consecutive home defeat on Saturday night, writes Mike Bacon.

No way through for Danny King (red helmet), on the outside of Nick Morris and Richard Lawson in the

No way through for Danny King (red helmet), on the outside of Nick Morris and Richard Lawson in the rerun of heat 13 on Saturday night. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The Suffolk side lost by a point to Lakeside, having lost to Peterborough by two points on opening night.

It’s been an unimpressive start to the season for the Foxhall side and Louis cut a frustrated figure post-meeting.

“I expected a sluggish start to the season perhaps, with two riders (Danyon Hume and Nico Covatti) returning from long-term injuries,” Louis said.

“But there’s more than that so far, too many elements are missing and we know what they are and we need to put them right.


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“We have Newcastle on Thursday in the league. I’m not going to say the league is our priority, it’s no doubt everyone’s priority.

“We wanted to do well in this Shield competition, but it’s gone now.

MORE: 5 observations from Mike on the Lakeside home defeat

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“We go to Peterborough on Tuesday night and try and build some confidence and then push on.”

A despondent looking Nico Covatti sits on the track after crashing in heat 13. Picture: Steve Wal

A despondent looking Nico Covatti sits on the track after crashing in heat 13. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

While on opening night the newly-shaped Foxhall track was a bit on the slick side as it bed it, Louis says there was no excuses about the track on Saturday.

“The first meeting, yes the track was a bit difficult, it had not been down long enough. But there was no excuse this week. It cut up a bit, but not much and it had the grip the lads asked for.

“As I said, there are elements we are know are wrong. We have to fix them.”

Meanwhile Nico Covatti is set to miss Ipswich’s upcoming meetings after crashing out at Foxhall on Saturday.

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins speaks with Cameron Heeps during the interval in Saturday night

Witches team manager Ritchie Hawkins speaks with Cameron Heeps during the interval in Saturday night's clash with Lakeside. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Covatti fell in Heat 13 of the Witches’ home defeat to Lakeside and boss Ritchie Hawkins expects him to sit out the trip to Peterborough on Tuesday and their Championship opener against Newcastle on Thursday.

Hawkins said: “Our thoughts are with Nico at the moment as it looks like he will be on the sidelines for a few weeks.

“He has hurt his ribs and there is probably a break there, and it will need some recuperation. It is not what he deserves or needs and he is not catching the breaks at the moment.

“It is not coming together at this early stage of the season.

“I know the Ipswich public will be worried, it is not the best start to a season. I have seen it in my past two years as manager that we have not started amazingly but we fight hard and that is one thing I always demand of my team.

“We need to keep believing in ourselves.”

MORE: Witches v Lakeside, meeting report

The Witches travel to Peterborough on Tuesday night in the final Shield meeting of the group. Lakeside having won the group.

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