Danny King column: ‘As riders, we need to pull our fingers out.... ALL OF US!’

Words of encouragement for Cameron Heeps from skipper Danny King at Foxhall on Saturday night. Pi

Words of encouragement for Cameron Heeps from skipper Danny King at Foxhall on Saturday night. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Witches No.1 Danny King does not hold back as regards the Witches team performances so far this season as Newcastle set for Foxhall.

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

Well, it’s no good beating around the bush.

This start to the season from the Witches simply hasn’t been good enough.

Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t lay blame at individuals when it comes to riding speedway because it is such a tough sport – and a team sport.

But as team we just haven’t been at the races yet and it’s not been good enough.


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Two home defeats already.

Blimey! I thought those days were long gone.

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We can’t blame the track or the weather or anything. I really thought we would hit the ground running. But we haven’t and we need to pull our fingers out – THAT’S ALL OF US!

Danny King takes the chequered flag to win heat six at Foxhall against Lakeside. Picture: Steve W

Danny King takes the chequered flag to win heat six at Foxhall against Lakeside. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

As far as I’m concerned we win as a team and lose as a team and that’s the way it is.

Now we have lost Nico Covatti for a couple of weeks after his crash on Saturday.

That’s such blow for him, coming back from such a big injury last season and now on the injured list again.

He hasn’t looked at his best so far this season – he’s not alone – but Nico has been trying so hard when out there and his fall was a bit of a consequence of that.

Still, no good feeling sorry for ourselves, we only have ourselves to blame and on Thursday night, our Championship League season starts.

Although the Peterborough cup final last season was a huge meeting, it wasn’t as big as our play-off final with Sheffield Tigers.

Connor Mountain deep in thought ahead of heat 11 a Foxhall on Saturday night. Picture: Steve Wall

Connor Mountain deep in thought ahead of heat 11 a Foxhall on Saturday night. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

What crowds we both enjoyed, especially at Foxhall for our play-off final.

And although we didn’t win, both legs were great occasions.

How much we would love to get to the final again, but with a different result, obviously.

This week, that race to the final starts and we simply can’t afford to lose.

It’s incredible to say so early in the season, but it really is a ‘must-win’ meeting.

Newcastle are the visitors and on paper we should see them off at Foxhall. But that’s on paper and the way we have started the season, nothing is certain.

They have riders who know our track and in reserve Ashley Morris have a rider who is in great form right now.

Rory Schlein. Photo: STEVE WALLER

Rory Schlein. Photo: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

So, they will come in confident mood, while our confidence is not high. It’s time for us to step up.

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If it’s not bad enough right now for me at Foxhall, at Leicester things are not going well either.

On Monday night the Lions let a 10-point lead slip and we lost to Swindon.

Fair play to the Robins, who played the tactical ride at the right time and used their rider replacements at the right times as well.

But, how frustrating to lose a 1-5 in the final race and lose the meeting by two points.

It wasn’t the greatest night for me and the track caught a few of the home riders out which is another frustration. Still, same for both sides, excuses are not acceptable.

I mentioned the tactical ride and I don’t know how fans are finding it.

It’s changed this season, so the ride just counts as the same points as a normal race. In the past, it has been for double points, which I know has annoyed many fans – Mike Bacon included! – because it just isn’t right.

So, I think we have got it right now, although it has taken a while to get to this point.

Now a tactical ride gives a team the chance to bring in a better rider for one not going so well. But after that, that’s it, no more help for the team who are losing.

MORE: Five observations after Witches’ loss to Lakeside at Foxhall

My boys, Casey and Logan were at Foxhall on Saturday night.

They love coming to speedway and because it’s a weekend of course they are allowed to stay up to come and enjoy it.

Speedway is a great family sport like that and although we don’t get everything right, there is no doubt the way families and especially the children can meet the riders and get autographs is a real positive.

Here’s then to a victory on Thursday.

I’m sorry we haven’t got it going yet and rightly many you are not happy.

But we are giving it our best I can assure you and we know the score. We will turn it round.

So, let’s get this Championship League season up and running.

Hopefully see you at Foxhall on Thursday.

DANNY

AS TOLD TO MIKE BACON

VOTE HERE: So, who is going to win the Championship?

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