ALUN Rossiter has warned Swindon’s second-string riders that they must make up for reserve absences if the Robins are to take points off Poole in tomorrow’s double-header.
The Blunsdon boss, a Pirates legend, has a significant bottom-two headache ahead of the Elite League meetings at Wimborne Road (11am) and the Abbey Stadium (8pm), which double as both legs of the Elite Shield.
While Rossiter has Steve Worrall available tomorrow morning, the in-form youngster is riding for Edinburgh in the Premier League Cup tomorrow night, so Kent’s Benji Compton comes in.
Compton will line up alongside recent Robins recruit Dan Greenwood – a replacement for the sidelined Darryl Ritchings – meaning Swindon are tomorrow night tracking two reserves who were not picked up in the initial Elite League draft.
For Rossiter, a three-time league title winner with Pirates, the likes of Nicolai Klindt and Simon Gustafsson will need to produce their best form to make up for the absences of Worrall and Ritchings.
He told the Daily Echo: “It’s going to be tough on our reserves because they are not the riders we chose initially, but we will give them a chance and they might surprise us.
“The situation means that the likes of Nicolai and Simon will have to step up to the plate and they are the key riders for me in these meetings.
“I will definitely be geeing them up, that’s for sure, as this is our local derby and we want to win it.
“It doesn’t hold any fears for us. I find a lot of people who go down to Poole tend to freeze and find it a nerve-wracking experience, but it doesn’t frighten me and I will try to instil that into the riders.”
Poole have also been forced into changes at reserve off the back of Kyle Newman rupturing a thigh muscle in a Premier League Cup crash at Peterborough on Tuesday.
Somerset rider Charles Wright and Coventry Storm’s Stefan Nielsen – a Belle Vue asset – have been recruited for the morning and evening meetings respectively.
Promoter Matt Ford had been keen to use Wright in both fixtures, but the services of the Rebels man are required by his second-tier team tomorrow night.
Pirates: (from) Chris Holder, Shamek Pawlicki, Maciej Janowski, Josh Grajczonek, Vaclav Milik, Lee Smart, Charles Wright, guest am/Stefan Nielsen, guest pm.
Robins: (from) Peter Kildemand, Troy Batchelor, Nick Morris, Simon Gustafsson, Nicolai Klindt, Dan Greenwood, Steve Worrall am/Benji Compton, guest pm.