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Poole Pirates: We must finish the job says Maciej Janowski
MAINSTAY Maciej Janowski insists Pirates will do everything in their power to deliver another blow to the club’s doubters as they bid to grab grand-final gold.
The Polish race ace – together with Rohan Tungate – is one of just two riders to have featured in Pirates’ declared one-to-seven throughout a turbulent campaign.
Janowski, who tops Poole’s Elite League appearance charts with 28, followed his 17-point semi- finals haul by racking up eight against Birmingham last Monday.
And the 22-year-old is determined to celebrate his first season with Pirates in style – by helping Poole successfully defend their 57-36 advantage in the second leg at Perry Barr tomorrow.
Janowski told the Daily Echo: “Of course, we were not expecting that good a score (in the first leg), but we were so focused from the beginning.
“The whole team was perfect and there was an amazing team spirit because everyone helped each other. We felt like a very good team.
“It has been a hard season because we have had a lot of trouble with injuries to Darcy (Ward), Rohan (Tungate), Tomas (H Jonasson), (Robert) Miskowiak, (Dawid) Stachyra and Chris (Holder). I have never been in a team which has had that many injuries.
“Everyone thought we were out of the play-offs but, by the end, we made the play-offs. After the first meeting at Swindon, everyone said we were finished and then we won at home. Last Monday, we had a really good chance to win the league and no-one expected this in the middle of the season.
“We want to do it and we will do everything to have a gold. There are still 15 heats so we must be ready for everything, but we are in a very good position to fight for a gold.”
Meanwhile, promoter Matt Ford has warned Pirates to guard against complacency as the Poole class of 2013 goes in search of Elite League glory.
Ford, who is targeting a fourth top-flight title in his 14-year tenure, told the club website: “There is no getting away from the fact that the performance in the first leg was absolutely brilliant. I believe we out-thought and out-fought a quality Birmingham side from start to finish.
“But I have absolutely no doubt that when the bikes are wheeled out at Perry Barr, the home side’s hurt from what happened will make them even more dangerous.
“Without question, they will attack from the off and we will need to be on our toes and guard against it.
“Our philosophy will be to forget our first-leg lead and stop them getting the heat advantages they are going to need. Every heat we can prevent them pulling back any points will be another race when it becomes more important that they have to do it in the next one, and so on.
“But, to do that, we have to have a team who have proved over the past two Mondays that they can dig in and attack and frustrate the opposition at the same time.
“We have to ride with that same spirit.”
Pirates are unchanged for the trip to the Midlands with Poole lad Kyle Newman continuing to deputise at reserve for Micky Dyer.
Team boss Neil Middleditch added: “I know it’s a cliché, but we are only at the halfway stage and, while we have the upper hand, anything can happen in speedway.
“The boys worked really hard in the first leg and we have probably exchanged the underdogs label for favourites.
“But nothing has been won yet, although I do believe we have the team capable of finishing the job if we retain our focus.”
Birmingham: (from) Auty, Barker, Covatti, Doyle, Harris, King, Smolinski.
Poole: (from) Ward, Jonasson, Hancock, Janowski, Grajczonek, r/r for Tungate, Newman (guest).
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