Panthers now need to make sure they win tough trips on the road

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Team manager Carl Johnson believes Panthers are capable of taking their improved form on the road.

The city club climbed into the SGB Premiership play-offs by recording back-to-back home triumphs in recent days.

Panthers edged out reigning champions Poole by a 46-44 scoreline in a thriller last Thursday with victory secured by a 4-2 in the final race from captain Hans Andersen and Charles Wright.

And they followed up that success by thumping local rivals King’s Lynn 54-36 in a Bank Holiday Monday derby when paid maximum man Bradley Wilson-Dean, Andersen and Rohan Tungate all roared into double-figures.

But Johnson’s men now face a run of four successive away tests which begins at Poole tonight (Thursday, 7.30pm). They also go to Ipswich (June 6), Wolverhampton (June 10) and Belle Vue (June 13) before returning to Alwalton to face Swindon on June 20.

“I said last week that we had to win both home meetings against Poole and King’s Lynn,” said Johnson. “And we managed to do that.

“It was a bit too close for comfort against Poole as they took us to a last-heat decider for the second time this season, but Hans and Charles did the business for us in the end.

“The manner of the victory against King’s Lynn was very pleasing. We knew we had the potential to do that and it was even better that it came against our local rivals.

“We’re definitely moving in the right direction now. We made a couple of changes to the team and we’ve put two wins on the board.

“But we need to ensure we continue to build momentum during the tough run of away meetings that is ahead.

“Poole have ridden well at our place twice this season and it is always tough down at their place.

“I’ve heard their track has not been brilliant which won’t be doing them any favours and it’s important we try to take advantage of that by going there and attacking it.

“We’re confident that we can get results anywhere and against anyone if at our best.”

Recent recruit Josh Bates is out of the trip to Dorset. He suffered a rib injury and a blow to the head when crashing while on SGB Championship duty for Leicester last weekend.

Bates also sat out the Bank Holiday Monday success against King’s Lynn when Paul Starke stepped in as a guest, but he has been booked by Poole tonight to stand in for them with Pirates regular Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen involved in the Danish Final.

Kasper Andersen, who was dropped by King’s Lynn following their defeat at Alwalton, is the Panthers guest tonight.

Poole are also without another Danish rider – Nicolai Klindt – due to the national final in that country and Adam Ellis of Swindon steps in.

And the Pirates will use rider replacement for Brady Kurtz, who is troubled by a shoulder problem suffered in a heat 13 fall in the two sides’ clash at the East of England Arena 10 days ago.