DANNY Ford has called on reserve Drew Kemp to "bounce back and show his true character" as Poole Pirates return to action tomorrow.

After a flying start to life as a Pirate, Kemp has struggled for points in recent weeks.

His downturn in form coincided with a nasty crash during Poole's victory over Edinburgh Monarchs at Wimborne Road on June 1.

The teenager was on a paid maximum for the night after totalling 5+1 from his opening two rides against the Monarchs, before he suffered a heavy fall when his bike locked up between bends one and two of heat eight.

Kemp did compete in two more heats that night, but did not look himself and failed to score.

Since then, the three-time British Under-19 champion has scored just 5+1 points from his four meetings in England, with Wolves and Poole.

Asked if Kemp is still feeling the affects, physically or mentally, from his crash against Edinburgh, Pirates promoter Ford told the Daily Echo: "After his crash against Edinburgh, it just seems to have knocked his confidence a little bit.

"Since then he’s been struggling a little bit going into the first bend, which hasn’t helped us at reserve. Because it’s so important that Drew goes well down at reserve.

"I think is a mental thing. I know for the past couple of weeks he has struggled with his machinery.

"He looks like he’s giving everyone a couple of metres out the gate, which isn’t helping going into the first corner, where you need to be in the mix.

"And then you’re always going into that area at Poole where he had his accident.

"So those two things put together make it incredibly hard to pick up points at home.

"Drew has so much talent and he’s touted for great things. So if he is going to go onto those, he needs to bounce back and show his true character because things aren’t always going to go your way in speedway.

"But the true making of a champion is how you adapt to these things and how you overcome them."

Bournemouth Echo:

Ford added: "While he’s down at reserve in particular, you kind of need to have at least one reserve firing.

"And as we’ve said from the start, Nathan (Ablitt) is a work in progress and we weren’t expecting Nathan to go out and go unbeaten or anything. So we need Drew to be picking up those points.

"We’ve seen he is more than capable, it’s just ironing out these errors and hopefully that will stand us in good stead come crunch time."

Kemp will have the chance to get back in the points when Pirates return to SGB Championship action at Scunthorpe Scorpions tomorrow (7.30pm).

Poole currently sit third in the table, 10 points and three places above their next opponents.

Discussing the challenge ahead at Eddie Wright Raceway, Ford said: "A very strong side at home, Scunthorpe.

"I think they’ve only been beaten once at home and last year we had a really poor result there (losing 50-34).

"But it was very difficult conditions, it had been raining a lot in the day, which didn’t make it overly easy. But given the result we had last week (losing at home to Leicester), we need to go out there and send a statement.

"There’s no better way than to go to a track that we’re not notoriously great at racing and to pick up all the points.

"So that’s our goal. The lads know that. And if we want to keep the pressure on Leicester and the rest of the guys at the top, that’s exactly what we’ve got to do."

Pirates will be managed by Gary Havelock, who is yet to taste defeat during his meetings in charge this term.

"He's unbeaten, but it’s a bit of a different animal, Scunthorpe," warned Ford.

"It’s a very difficult track. I have no doubt that they’ll prepare it to work against us because they know how our guys like a particularly smooth track.

"So don’t be surprised if we’re in for a bit of a ride."

Pirates: Danny King, Zach Cook, Steve Worrall, Ben Cook, Richard Lawson, Drew Kemp, Nathan Ablitt.

Scunthorpe: Ryan Douglas, Simon Lambert, Zaine Kennedy, Jake Allen, Tero Aarnio, Connor Coles, Jordan Palin.