Louis: ‘We are not just making up the numbers’

SPEEDWAY: Are Ipswich Witches just making up the numbers in the Elite League?

They have not won a trophy for 13 seasons and look as though they will have a fight on their hands this year to avoid repeating 2003 when they finished bottom of the table.

Fans appear to be getting increasingly frustrated although crowd levels at Foxhall Stadium have yet to take a serious dip.

But with just three victories in 15 competitive fixtures this season there is a danger that attendance figures will start to fall.

Would Ipswich be better off in the Premier League where they could compete for honours at a reduced level of financial input?

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Other Elite League promotions often appear cuter and more street-wise than the Witches and invest in assembling teams that prove to be a potent force.

John Louis has run Ipswich since 1989 and for the last decade as sole promoter although his son Chris is now taking a leading role following the end of his riding career.

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Louis junior is director of speedway, and he was keen to reply to critics of how the Witches are being run.

“Of course we’re not making the numbers up,” said Louis.

“We can’t afford to do that.

“We want to win the Elite League, and we did not put together a bad team.

“There is no doubt that we have under achieved, but fundamental to that is the fact that we are still getting used to our track changes at Foxhall.

“With a hungry Ales Dryml in the side now, and with a long way to go we have not given up on reaching the play-offs this year.”

And number one rider Scott Nicholls agrees with Louis saying: “We could and should have beaten Peterborough at their place on Monday.

“We are that close to being a side that can win both home and away on a regular basis and we are looking to push on and fulfil our potential.”

There is no meeting at Foxhall Stadium tonight with Ipswich facing a tough trip to runaway leaders Poole next Wednesday.

They will do well to escape anything other than a good hiding, but a good performance at home to Wolverhampton next Thursday will go a long way to getting frustrated fans back on the Witches side.

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