Panthers must avoid the banana skin

Speedway news from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter

Speedway news from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter

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Peterborough Panthers have been warned against slipping up on a potential Premier League KO Cup banana skin.

The city team entertain Plymouth in a first-round, first-leg clash at the East of England Showground tomorrow (2pm).

They will start as hot favourites to progress into the quarter-finals after already recording three victories over the Devils this season.

Panthers have twice won comprehensively in Devon in Premier League and League Cup action and they also managed a narrow home success in the latter competition.

But team boss Carl Johnson is taking absolutely nothing for granted and has urged his riders to adopt the same attitude.

Johnson said: “We are still disappointed to have gone out of the League Cup at the group stage and that has made us even more determined to have a good run in the KO Cup.

“But we cannot afford to look beyond the first round tie and we need to ensure we do a professional job to get through.

“We cannot afford to take them lightly just because we have had success against thm this season. In fact those results will probably make our job harder as Plymouth will do everything they can to try to gain revenge.

“Our first task is to build up a good lead tomorrow to take down to Plymouth for the second leg next month.

“I’m aiming for a double-figures advantage and that means we need to perform a lot better at home than we did when Plymouth last visited the Showground.

“We made very hard work of beating them in an afternoon meeting when the track conditions were not exactly as we wanted them.

“We have to be aware that may be the case again tomorrow as it is a 2pm start although we will obviously do everything we can to get the track into the best possible shape.”

Panthers are expected to operate the rider replacement facility with no suitable guest number one available due to the volume of meetings being staged tomorrow.

The second leg is in Devon on Thursday, June 18.

Panthers were dumped out of the same competition by Plymouth last season at the quarter-final stage.

Panthers’ next league meeting is not until next Friday (May 29) when Berwick Bandits visit the Showground.

Panthers team boss Carl Johnson hopes to hand more meetings to guest star Brady Kurtz.

The Australian teenager has impressed club chiefs when being borrowed on three occasions in recent weeks.

And, providing injured number one Olly Allen remains at the top of the club’s averages for next month, Kurtz will be offered more outings.

Johnson said: “Brady is a terrific young talent and he will certainly go a long way in the sport if he can continue his progress.

“We have already made him aware of our fixtures in June and, if we are still in a position to be able to use guests, we will look to book him.”

Teenager Kurtz has piled up 35 points in his guesting missions in Panthers colours to date.