No pressure on Morris as Hilton re-jigs the Witches

Nico Covatti, in good form again for the Witches last night

Nico Covatti, in good form again for the Witches last night - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich ‘Sackers’ Witches team manager Phil Hilton is hoping new boy Ashley Morris can go out and prove a point on Thursday night.

The 21-year-old from Wolverhampton makes his debut in Witches colours at Foxhall in a Premier League clash against Plymouth Devils (7.30pm), the team who dropped him from their side just over a month ago.

It left Morris unimpressed at the time and although he is sure to want to do well, Hilton has said there is no pressure on him at all.

“It’s human nature to want to show someone they were wrong in what they did, isn’t it?,” Hilton said.

“And I’m sure Ashley will want to show Plymouth they were wrong to drop him.

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“But from my point of view, he is under no pressure at all. I want him to go out and enjoy himself. He’s meeting a load of new team-mates which I know he will fit in with straightaway.

“I just hope he and Stefan Nielsen can be a potent reserve pairing. I’m confident they can be.”

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Hilton has re-shuffled his team around as the Witches welcome back Cameron Heeps from a broken wrist and try to get some solid League form going.

Heeps rides at two, with Gino Manzares at three, Rohan Tungate at four and Nico Covatti at five.

“Cameron has ridden at No.2 before and me and Chris Louis had a chat about it and we know Cam is often happy to come out in the first race – he likes that,” Hilton said.

“It’s a bit of a gamble to put him straight back into action, but he knows he has got to get going again.

“I put Gino at No.2 when he first returned from injury so as not to put too much pressure on him, as he rode with Danny (King), who wins races for fun.

“Now Gino has settled back in, I think he’s riding fantastic again, so I had not worries about putting him in a heat leader role.

“Rohan has perhaps been the one rider exposed a bit riding at five. He’s a great gater but has struggled a bit from the back this season.

“People must remember this is only his fourth year with us and he’s made a remarkable rise. So hopefully being at four will help him.

“As regards Nico Covatti. Quite honestly I could ride him at any position in the team, 1-5 and it wouldn’t bother him. He’s been an absolute star and a pleasure to deal with.”

Plymouth had a fantastic win at Peterborough on Sunday in a Premier League clash and will be a far sterner test than they have been at Foxhall in recent years. Witches asset Morten Risager is coming back into a bit of form and young Aussie, Jack Holder, brother of former world champion Chris, is another all-action racer.

Kyle Newman and Ryan Fisher both have good Foxhall pedigree, so any Witches fans thinking of an easy victory, could end up thinking again as the meeting unfolds.

Thursday’s teams

Ipswich Witches: D King, C Heeps, G Manzares, R Tungate, N Covatti, S Nielsen, A Morris.

Plymouth Devils: R Fisher, M Risager, J Holder, T Kurtz, K Newman, R Konopka, Sam Simota.

Mike’s prediction: Witches 51 Devils 39

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