IRATE boss Matt Ford has warned misfiring Poole Pirates to put up AND shut up on the back of Monday’s track grumbles.

Pirates lost 49-41 at home to Belle Vue – their first setback at Wimborne Road for more than a year – with riders quick to slate the surface.

Ford admitted the track had not met with expectations but questioned whether voicing the issues had been an attempt to mask a mixed start to the campaign.

And with a derby double-header against Swindon on the horizon, the Wimborne Road chief expects less talk and more action as the club bids to secure a fourth straight Elite League crown.

Ford told the Daily Echo: “I understand the track was not up to its usual standard but I don’t know if the same excuses can be made for the away matches at Coventry, Wolverhampton, Lakeside and Leicester.

“Somewhere along the line, something is not clicking into place – at what point do we stand up and admit it is not quite happening for the team itself?

“Despite the problems, Hans (Andersen) and Bjarne (Pedersen) were fully committed on Monday.

"British speedway has always had to deal with changeable weather and track conditions vary widely. It is the nature of the beast.

“We cannot keep thinking the reason we are getting beaten is because it has rained and the track handles differently.

"It did not handle how we wanted it to, those who prepared it know that and are working hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“It played its part but at the same time, we all have to hold up our hands and congratulate Belle Vue, particularly Scott Nicholls and Steve Worrall, on showing grit and determination. They revelled in the conditions and just went about their business.

“I take on board what the riders have said, it is something for us to look at and we will make sure we give them the best surface possible in light of the conditions that get thrown at us.

“But I also need to see improved performances on away tracks, we simply cannot keep living on excuses.

"The truth of the matter is that away performances have been very poor so are we going to blame the tracks again or stand up to be counted?

“Maybe it is hard for people to hear but whether you are home or away, the track is the same for both teams and quite simply, we need to up our game.”

Ford reiterated his belief that the class of 2016 has the ability to succeed but insisted that needed to be allied with desire.

“I am looking now, particularly at these next two matches that I feel we should be very capable of winning, and want to see improved performances,” he added.

“Certain riders at other clubs have upped their game considerably and we need to combat that.

“Enough is enough. I want to see us putting points on the board, I don’t want to hear too much more about rules, tracks or anything else.

“There is no chance these riders have become also-rans overnight, that is not the case, but perhaps I need one or two of them to show a little more commitment at times.

“That is certainly in my mind. I feel we need to stop being negative and go about our business by focusing on the task in hand.

“I am sure my words will not be taken kindly by some but that is the way it is because we are in a results-driven business.”

Ford also revealed Poole’s mixed start to the season had impacted on footfall through the gates.

“I take everything into consideration and realise crowds are often lower when events are televised, but Monday was our second-lowest attendance in 17 years,” he said.

“I have a duty to think not just as a Poole fan at heart but also with my business hat on and when the riders perform, the crowds come back.

“It is a very simple thing in sport, winning has a positive effect so I am asking the boys to stand up, be counted and show absolute commitment to the cause for the sake of everyone involved.”