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Pirates: Swindon will try to beat Lakeside insists Ford
PIRATES chief Matt Ford is convinced arch rivals Swindon will be going full throttle for victory against Lakeside – despite suggestions to the contrary.
Ford was speaking after controversial comments from Hans Andersen which saw the Robins captain hint that Swindon would consider how to approach the meeting with their potential play-off opponents in mind.
Lakeside and Poole are battling to finish fourth in the Elite League with the two clubs visiting Swindon and Belle Vue, respectively, for crucial final fixtures of the regulation season on Monday.
A big away win for Lakeside would see Poole and Peterborough miss out and virtually guarantee a play-off berth for the Hammers ahead of outsiders King’s Lynn.
With defending champions Swindon having already qualified, Andersen told the Swindon Advertiser: “I think now we have a part to play in the final meeting about who we want to see in the play-offs and if things go the way they might go, we could decide who gets fourth place or not whether we win or lose the final meeting.
“If it suited our team, we have to do what is best for us. We don’t think about other teams, so if it suits us better we have to do what we have to do to retain our title.”
But Ford believes the strong links between Pirates and Swindon – as well as Robins’ professionalism – will show on Monday.
He told the Daily Echo: “I take on board what Hans has said and I don’t want people to read too much into that.
“Peter Kildemand and Troy Batchelor are two incredible riders that anybody would wish to work with. Kyle Howarth is going out with Neil Middleditch’s daughter. A number of the Swindon riders have an association with Poole.
"Would Swindon be better off facing Lakeside than Poole? Potentially, yes they would. But I don’t think for one second that when a guy puts on a helmet and has a chance of earning money – and it is the only way he is paid – that he will be doing anything other than trying to win. Hans and I have been very close over the years and I know he will do his utmost to win a race.
“Swindon have a great track record and a tremendous history. They will do everything they can to win a speedway meeting, just as they do every other time.”
Robins boss Alun Rossiter, a former Poole skipper and member of the club’s hall of fame, said: “We will be going out 100 per cent to win the match – nothing more, nothing less. I would love to have Poole back here in the play-offs.”
Pirates remained in with a chance of reaching the play-offs following Lakeside’s 53-40 defeat at King’s Lynn on Wednesday.
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