Peterborough Panthers boss remains defiant despite problems piling up

Panthers rider Charles Wright is about to come a cropper in the meeting with Belle Vue. Photo: David Lowndes.
Panthers rider Charles Wright is about to come a cropper in the meeting with Belle Vue. Photo: David Lowndes.
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Peterborough Panthers team boss Carl Johnson has refused to write off his team’s play-off chances despite a dismal run of form and a crippling list of injuries.

The city side have slumped to three successive SGB Premiership home defeats and have five of their seven regular riders sidelined.

They have fallen to sixth place in the top-flight standings and now face a daunting run of seven away meetings in a row while having to operate with a patched-up team.

But a defiant Johnson insisted: “We’re only one point off fourth place.

“Belle Vue, Ipswich and Poole are certain of being in the top four as far as I’m concerned, but any of the other four clubs – Swindon, Wolverhampton, King’s Lynn and ourselves – could take the other place in the play-offs.

“We’ve still got to face all of those teams more than once and it is still very possible that we could make it.

“Obviously the run of losses at home and the huge injury problems haven’t helped us, but we can’t change the past and we definitely can’t afford to feel sorry for ourselves.

“What we can do is influence the future and rack up the points in the 10 meetings we still have ahead of us.

“Yes, a lot of them are on the road, but we will do our utmost to have the most competitive team possible each time we take to the track.

“Hopefully we’ve had our share of bad luck now and we can gradually get riders back and start picking up results again.”

Johnson confirmed Panthers won’t make any permanent team changes ahead of their trip to Wolverhampton on Monday (July 22, 7.30pm).

They will use guests for their two most serious casualties – number one Hans Andersen and reserve Josh Bates – at Monmore Green.

Johnson hopes Charles Wright and Aaron Summers will both be fit to return while Ty Proctor continues in his short-term role to cover for Bradley Wilson-Dean, who expects to be fit in early August following a broken collar-bone.

Johnson added: “We’ll know more about the situation with Josh over the coming days, but it’s safe to assume he’ll be out for a while after such a bad crash.

“Hans is getting better day by day but it’s a case of being patient there.

“He’s still suffering from tiredness and dizziness and it’s going to take a while for him to get right.

“Bradley tells me he’ll be back at the beginning of next month while we’ll hopefully have Charles and Aaron with us on Monday at Wolverhampton.”