DANNY Ford says injury-hit Pirates’ “strength in depth” has been key as they look to record a sixth straight win tomorrow.

Still missing a host of riders, Poole head to King’s Lynn’s Adrian Flux Arena (7.30pm) as the Premiership’s form team, sitting top of the table following Thursday night’s 49-41 success against the Stars on Dorset shale.

But they will again be forced to draft in guest riders to fill the side as injuries continue to take their toll.

Richie Worrall remains a long-term absentee after suffering a broken ankle in a collision with team-mate Nico Covatti on track at Wimborne Road last month.

Covatti is also still sidelined, although his rib injury is not as serious as first feared, while Brady Kurtz missed last week’s win over King’s Lynn following a crash racing in Sweden a few days earlier.

Pirates’ septet was again hit when reserve Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen, who missed the two previous meetings through sickness, was taken ill in the pits on Thursday night and has subsequently undergone surgery in Denmark to repair a problem with his appendix.

And co-promoter Ford admits it has been difficult to find bodies to plug the gaps.

He told the Daily Echo: “I’ve never known anything quite like it. We don’t seem to be getting any luck in terms of our rider injuries, but the results keep rolling in.

“Nikolaj has had the operation. We don’t know how long his recovery is going to be but it shouldn’t be too long.”

Asked whether the operation was connected to Busk Jakobsen’s recent absence from the side, Ford added: “He didn’t know what the problem was really, he just felt really sick. He was physically being sick and now it seems to be his appendix and it does seem to tie in so it would make sense that it is linked.

“It must’ve been really tough for him (to ride on Thursday) because you could tell he wasn’t 100 per cent, which is a massive shame. But he still got some points (3+1), which was vital.”

Ford also gave an update on the recoveries of some of the other Pirates absentees.

“Brady, we’re hoping it’ll be a few weeks and similar for Nico actually,” he said. “With Brady we are waiting on the results of a CAT scan, we don’t know exactly how long he’ll be out.

“But Nico is on recovery. He was just nursing some rib problems but he should be back sooner rather than later.”

He added: “The strength in depth we’ve got this year has really just paid us dividends.

“Obviously if you have a strong top end and you lose one of those riders, you’re up against it.

“But because we’ve got strength in depth, it’s never nice, but we can afford to have one or two guys missing because the rest of the guys will step up.

“You’ve seen so far this year that everyone has done their bit.

“It’s good, we’ve got no real stragglers.”

Ford was again left with the task of trying to find riders to fill the team for the trip to King’s Lynn. Ricky Wells will step in as he did last week, while Kyle Newman and Aaron Summers are also set to guest for Pirates, who will utilise rider replacement.

“It’s really tough to find replacements this year,” said Ford.

“Given that most of the other teams are riding in the Premiership (tomorrow), trying to find a suitable rider replacement to cover all our missing riders is an absolute nightmare. But we’ll put out a good team and hopefully we can go there and steal some points.”