Panthers there to be shot at after great start

Brady Kurtz will guest for Panthers again on Sunday.
Brady Kurtz will guest for Panthers again on Sunday.
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Panthers team boss Carl Johnson is relishing the extra pressure that comes with challenging for honours.

The city side have made a perfect start to their Premier League campaign, collecting all 11 league points available to date after bagging hefty away wins at Redcar and Plymouth to sandwich a pleasing home triumph against Rye House.

Panthers, who have won seven of their last eight fixtures in all competitions, are second in the league standings.

They trail leaders Sheffield by three points (the Tigers have completed three more meetings) and can return to the summit by seeing off Workington at the East of England Showground on Sunday (6.30pm).

Johnson said: “Forget about what people say about league positions not mattering – every team would like to up there at the top of the table.

“It is great to be challenging for top spot as far as I am concerned and long may it continue.

“We are there to be shot at after such a good start and opposing teams will want to be the first to beat us.

“I would rather have other teams gunning for us because we are flying high in the table than be near the bottom trying to play catch-up.

“We found out last season how difficult that can be and also again in the League Cup this year when losing our first three meetings cost us a place in the semi-finals.

“We have to be realistic and accept our form will probably dip at some point during the season, but the job now is to try to rise to every challenge and keep this run going.”

Panthers have drafted in Australian talent Brady Kurtz for another guest appearance against Workington.

The Somerset teenager scored paid 14 when helping Panthers overcome Rye House 55-37 at the Showground late last month.

He stepped in for Robert Lambert on that occasion, but now gets the nod to fill in at number one.

Workington are yet to contest a Premier League meeting. They will get their campaign underway when hosting Plymouth on Saturday night ahead of their visit to the Showground the following day.

The Comets are spearheaded by two riders with previous Peterborough experience – Danes Kenneth Hansen and Rene Bach.

Kyle Howarth, who pipped Lambert to British Under 21 title glory last month, also features for the Cumbrian side.