Louis targets top-two finish

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches rider/manager Chris Louis last night stressed the importance of achieving a top-two finish in the Elite League.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Evening Star Witches rider/manager Chris Louis last night stressed the importance of achieving a top-two finish in the Elite League.

The injured Louis will be in the Foxhall Stadium pits in an advisory capacity tonight when the Witches entertain Coventry Bees (start 7.30pm).

A victory will keep Ipswich on course for a play-off place after a lengthy lay-off with last night's meeting at Poole called-off early in the day because of a waterlogged Wimborne Road circuit

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“We have to aim for a top two finish,” said Louis.

“Historically finishing third or fourth does not mean a final play-off place, and with Poole and Swindon setting a fast pace we have some catching up to do.

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“But we have proved already that we can string wins together and we will be looking to do it again.

“The fixture list has not panned out as we would have liked and we have another break next week because of the World Cup.

“But we then get back to serious business and are well suited to gain home and away wins.”

Apart from Louis, Ipswich will be at full strength tonight with Robert Miskowiak responding to treatment and Steve Johnston coming through a meeting in Sweden on Tuesday with no ill-effects.

And Louis sees his riders in good touch adding: “Piotr Swiderski has to be the rider of the year in England and I am sure he will continue to lead from the front and give 100%.

“Both Jarek Hampel - a little - and Robert Miskowiak - more so - have suffered from a lack of consistency, but they both appear to have turned the corner.

“Tobi Kroner went through a difficult spell when his confidence dipped, but he appears to be back to his best and with Chris Schramm riding regularly in the Premier League recently for Mildenhall it all bodes well for good couple of months ahead.”

Tonight's meeting will be only the Witches' fourth meeting since the end of May and should attract a big crowd to Foxhall with number two English rider Chris Harris and Rory Schlein, who guested so successfully for Ipswich two weeks ago, in the Coventry side. Ollie Allen is fit to ride for a Bees side that won twice at Foxhall last season but is currently at the bottom of the table - and one that suffered a demoralising defeat at Belle Vue on Monday.

Coventry manager Peter Oakes said after the Bees saw an eight-point lead wiped out in the last four races: “We did all the hard work in 11 races and threw it away in four, and that was one of the hardest defeats to take.”

Tonight's line-ups

Ipswich: P Swiderski, Rider replacement, J Hampel, S Johnston, R Miskowiak, T Kroner, C Schramm.

Coventry: C Harris, O Allen, S Stead, Rider replacement, R Schlein, S Burza, A Messing.

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