Don’t let super start go to waste warns team boss

Ulrich Ostergaard on his way victory in heat five against Berwick.
Ulrich Ostergaard on his way victory in heat five against Berwick.

Panthers team boss Carl Johnson has urged his riders not to let a super Premier League start go to waste.

The city racers possess one of only two remaining unbeaten records after powering to five wins and a draw in their opening six league fixtures.

They remain joint-top of the standings after a come-from-behind 51-39 success against Berwick at the East of England Showground last Friday, although that is likely to change in the coming days.

Leaders Somerset and third-placed Edinburgh – the other unbeaten side – are both in action tomorrow (Friday) while Panthers are in the middle of a fortnight-long break without a meeting.

They don’t return to action until June 12.

Johnson said: “It is not ideal to go two weeks without racing, but we have done all we can by putting ourselves in a great position.

“It is now up to the other teams to try to come at us. I would much rather be there to be shot at than one of the teams trying to do the shooting.

“We have enjoyed a good start to the league season, but we have to be mindful that it is nothing more than that at this stage.

“There are still a hell of a lot of meetings and plenty of hard work ahead, and we cannot afford to get complacent.

“We want to win every race in every meeting, but we know that is not going to happen. But what is realistic is to expect us to battle for every point, home and away, and keep ourselves in the play-off places.”

Johnson was pleased with the character shown by his riders to recover from a poor start against Berwick.

They trailed by eight points after three races, but slammed in three 5-1s to hit the front after heat eight before going on to close out an impressive victory.

Johnson added: “I always knew it would be a tough test and told the lads they needed to be at their best.

“That clearly wasn’t the case in the early races as the Berwick riders, who traditionally like big tracks, came at us.

“Our boys didn’t need telling they hadn’t been good enough because they knew that for themselves.

“All they could do was put it right and they did very well to fight back before going on to pick up another important win.

“We are working well as a team and long may that continue.”