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Holder backs Pirates to reach Elite League play-offs
WIMBORNE Road hero Chris Holder has backed Pirates to triumph on ‘Monumental Monday’ and insists their play-off push could be “timed to perfection”.
The stricken Pirates skipper, sidelined after a horror smash at Coventry, is hoping to see Poole complete a dramatic fightback by sealing a top-four place tonight.
Pirates, who have endured a tough 2013 due to lack of form and a series of major injury setbacks, travel to Belle Vue with a big chance of extending their season.
After winning just four of their opening 13 Elite League fixtures, Pirates have forced their way into contention by claiming nine victories in their past 14 meetings.
A Pirates success over the Aces would rule out rivals Peterborough and King’s Lynn, leaving the Dorset club to sweat on Lakeside’s result at Swindon this evening.
Poole have a superior points difference to Lakeside but the Hammers, who have lost to Swindon three times this year, are one league point ahead of Pirates and would guarantee the final play-off berth if they managed to beat the Robins by seven points or more.
However, world champion Holder is confident his club-mates have an excellent opportunity to feature in the title battle.
The Australian ace told the Daily Echo: “They have got a really good chance.
“Belle Vue are quite good at their home track so they will need to be on form and, hopefully, they can get the win and sneak into the play-offs.
“The riders just need to make sure they perform and, hopefully, Swindon will do their job. Hopefully, it will all work out in our favour and we can sneak in.”
The 25-year-old continued: “Poole have had issues with injuries. It wasn’t good there for a long time and we were right near the bottom of the table.
“The team we had at the start of the year didn’t really work out and the club made some changes, then people got injured.
“Now, they seem to have settled down and have been getting some big scores at home and they have produced some decent away performances.
“It has come at a pretty good time. Hopefully, they can go to Belle Vue and get the win. They should go and do it. The team seems to be going really well now so I hope they can get it done.”
And Bearwood-based Holder, who admits it has been “tough to watch” since suffering a fractured and dislocated left hip, a shattered heel and a broken shoulder in his crash at Coventry, believes Pirates could end a difficult year in style.
“Once you are in the play-offs, it is all to play for,” added Holder. “If they reach the play-offs and keep producing the scores they have been at home, it would give them a good chance of bagging a final place.”
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