KYLE Newman insists Pirates must “focus on the job in hand” against Leicester this evening – with or without influential skipper Darcy Ward.

Ward was last night awaiting sanctions from the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) after he failed an alcohol test prior to Sunday’s Latvian Grand Prix.

The Aussie could face a suspension from the governing body and therefore his involvement in this evening’s meeting at Wimborne Road remains in doubt.

However, flying reserve Newman insists that Pirates must be ready to deal with the potential absence of their star man against the Elite League’s basement side (7.30pm).

He told the Daily Echo: “We’ve got to focus on the job in hand and whatever happens outside of the meeting happens.

“I think we will just get our heads down and get on. At the end of the day teams are missing riders every now and again and we are all there to do our own personal jobs.

“As bad as it sounds, we are all there to earn money so you have to put whatever happens to the back of your mind and focus on the job in hand.”

Pirates have been in fine form recently and could move to within three points of table-toppers King’s Lynn with victory over the struggling Lions.

And Poole-raised Newman believes that if Pirates can climb above the Stars heading into the play-offs then it will give his team the psychological edge.

He added: “It would be fantastic if we could get past King’s Lynn. It would put out a major statement just as winning at the Norfolk Arena did.

“Our ultimate focus is to get into the play-offs and I think we are pretty comfortable in there, and once the play-offs start it’s a whole new ball game.

“We are feeling really confident at the moment after a few wins on the bounce. You can never take any team for granted but hopefully we will come away with the three points.”