PIRATES skipper Hans Andersen admitted “we should have done better” as Poole left Swindon empty-handed after a narrow 50-42 loss tonight.

The Elite League champions found themselves 10 points down after 10 races at Blunsdon, but Andersen did his best to haul Pirates back into the meeting, picking up nine.

He claimed four from a tactical ride alongside Krzysztof Buczkowski in heat 11. Andersen then held up Swindon top gun Jason Doyle with a sublime ride in race 13 to help Chris Holder charge into second and secure a vital 5-1.

But the Dane crashed on lap four, turn one in the final heat as Robins secured the 4-2 they needed to defeat Poole by eight and deny them a consolation league point for losing by six or fewer.

Andersen was well supported by Holder, who collected eight paid 10, while compatriot Bjarne Pedersen recorded seven paid eight at reserve.

The Odense-born man was gutted he couldn’t do more to savage a share of the spoils. But he admits a slow start cost the team.

He said: “I don’t think it was about what happened at the end – it was what happened at the beginning. They were out-gating us in every race.

“This is a very fast circuit and it’s their home track. Fair play to them; they did well. But we should have done better than we did; myself included.

“It’s pretty hard at the moment. I’m just really annoyed with myself. Looking at the score, the team did decent, but we needed a bit more from the heat leaders – me and Chris. It’s one of those things.

“It would have been better to come away with something because I don’t think losing by eight tells the real story.”

While riders usually complain about their engines not being powerful enough, Andersen admits he endured the opposite problem.

“I just have too much power in my engine,” he said. “In the first couple of rides, I was just spinning my backside off.

“For the last couple of races, I jumped on an engine I hadn’t tried, and that should have been softer. It was softer, but not soft enough.

“I’m alright when we go to King’s Lynn – tracks with a bit more dirt on. I’m not making excuses, but it’s hard to go forward when everything you do is making wheel-spin.

“I scored well at King’s Lynn – 14 points – when there was a bit more material on the track.

“It’s just a matter of getting something dialled in when the tracks are a little bit slicker. I’ll get there. We’re trying hard and it’s getting better every time. Come the play-offs, I’ll be okay.”

Next up for Pirates is a home clash with Elite League basement club Leicester on Wednesday.

While Poole will be expected to triumph with ease, Andersen insists Poole will not take the Lions lightly.

“We drew 46-46 last time we went to their place,” he said. “You can never underestimate teams. When you start doing that, that’s when things go wrong.”