Witches face Wolves with fight on their hands

SPEEDWAY: Ipswich Witches team manager Pete Simmons has told his team: “We can’t afford to lose touch with Eastbourne Eagles.”

His bottom-of-the-table Elite League side entertain Wolverhampton at Foxhall Stadium tonight (start 7.30pm) looking to improve on their 50-43 home win over the midland side in the A fixture earlier in the year.

Any hope of making a success of the season and qualifying for the play-offs by finishing in the top four have evaporated.

Having been knocked out of the KO Cup by Wolves, the objective for rest of the season is to avoid the wooden spoon as Simmons confirmed.

He said: “We have to set realistic targets for ourselves now.

“And the first objective is to overtake Eastbourne and climb off the bottom of the table.

“We only had two or three riders on form at Wolverhampton on Monday – we badly need all seven to be at the top of their game in the return at Foxhall.

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“We beat Wolves by seven points last time they came to Foxhall so anything less than that would be a step backwards.”

The good news for Ipswich is the return to form shown by Robert Miskowiak at Monmore Green and the return of Olly Allen from injury and Ales Dryml after riding in the Czech Republic on Monday.

Norfolk-based Allen had been putting in some good performances at Foxhall and he will be seeking to carry on where he left off and offer solid support to partner Scott Nicholls.

The Witches number one will be after a confidence-boosting meeting just 48 hours before riding as a wild card in Saturday’s British Grand Prix at Cardiff.

Wolves skipper Tai Woffinden is permanently representing Great Britain along with Chris Harris in the 2010 GP series and the 19-year-old insists he’s proud to be British.

He hit back at a report over the weekend that suggested he could be considering switching allegiance to Australia after being brought up ‘down under’.

“Nothing can be further from the truth,” said Woffinden. “I was born in England and I’ve ridden for Great Britain. I’m proud to be British and I’m thrilled to be one of three British riders on Saturday.

“I really wish this report hadn’t appeared. I want the support of British fans at Cardiff just as much as Scott and Chris.

“I repeat, I am British and I’m so looking forward to walking out on parade on Saturday.

“I’ve been to the Millennium Stadium before as a reserve but I intend to do my very best to maintain my steady improvement and give the British fans something to cheer about.”

Popular Pole Adam Skonicki will be missing with injury so Wolves will use the rider replacement facility to cover for him.

With Carl Wilkinson and Ritchie Hawkins unavailable and with Linus Sundstrom restricting his meetings after a painful tumble, Ipswich are looking to Newport’s Canadian rider Kyle Legault as a guest at reserve.

Tonight’s line-ups

Ipswich: S Nicholls, O Allen, D King, A Dryml, R Miskowiak, D Stachyra, AN Other,

Wolverhampton: F Lindgren, T Proctor, N Klindt, rider replacement for A Skornicki, T Woffinden, M Wethers, L Lindgren.

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