Panthers blow ahead of Coventry double header

PETERBOROUGH have been hit by a second injury blow ahead of Bank Holiday Monday’s crunch Elite League double-header with Coventry.

PETERBOROUGH have been hit by a second injury blow ahead of Bank Holiday Monday’s crunch Elite League double-header with Coventry.

The Readypower Panthers need a good haul of points form the home-and-away clashes starting at the Showground at 11am, if they are to maintain their play-off push.

Already without skipper Kenneth Bjerre due to a broken leg, Panthers now also have Norbert Kosciuch on the sidelines due to shoulder damage.

Kosciuch was involved in the Heat 1 crash with Bjerre on Thursday, and although he raced on to play a vital part in the 50-43 win over King’s Lynn, the injury has worsened over the weekend and he is not fit to ride.

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Panthers have called up Rory Schlein to guest at No.1 for Bjerre in the home fixture, with Kosciuch’s absence covered by rider-replacement as Tomas H Jonasson is set to make his debut at reserve.

Ironically Schlein, who has raced for both the Panthers and the Bees during his career, guested for Coventry in the corresponding August Bank Holiday Monday fixture last season.

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For the evening trip to Brandon (7.30pm), though, Schlein has a fixture for his regular club Belle Vue, and with a busy fixture list Panthers bosses are working on guest options, which could be at No.1 or in place of Kosciuch depending on rider availability.

Manager Trevor Swales said: “Coventry seem to be better away than they are at home at the moment. They’ve run some other teams very close, and been unlucky not to win quite a few. I don’t know what it is, but they seem to be good on the road lately so we’ve got to be on our game.

“Obviously it’s much harder having now lost two riders. This is one of the busiest days in the calendar so finding guests is not easy, but we’re doing all we can to make sure we get the right man in for the evening.”

Coventry are set to be at full strength for both fixtures after Scott Nicholls returned from injury in the British Grand Prix, and recent Polish signing Michal Szczepaniak makes his first Showground appearance.

PETERBOROUGH: Rory Schlein (Guest or R/R in evening), Norbert Kosciuch R/R (Guest or R/R in evening), Michael Jepsen Jensen, Linus Sundstrom, Krzysztof Buczkowski, Richard Lawson (Jason Bunyan in evening), Tomas H Jonasson.

COVENTRY: Chris Harris, Adam Roynon, Edward Kennett, Kenni Larsen, Scott Nicholls, Aaron Summers, Michal Szczepaniak.

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