Peterborough Panthers won’t be held to ransom by greedy riders, Wilson-Dean’s frustration at slow recovery

Bradley Wilson-Dean.
Bradley Wilson-Dean.
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Peterborough Panthers team boss Carl Johnson insists the club won’t break the bank in their bid to climb off the bottom of the SGB Premiership.

The city side have fallen five points adrift at the foot of the top-flight standings after six consecutive defeats.

Carl Johnson.

Carl Johnson.

They are now eight points off the play-off places and have ridden more meetings than the teams just above them.

But Johnson says there will be no drastic changes to the Panthers line-up in an attempt to go on a late-season surge.

“Nothing seems to have gone right for us from the moment we lost a rider on our Press and Practice Day,” said Johnson, referring to the departure of Great Britain star Craig Cook on the eve of the campaign. “I don’t mind admitting this season has been a steep learning curve on and off the track at times.

“We’re in a tough position right now and we will do all we can to avoid finishing bottom, but there is no magic formula to turn things around. It’s going to take a hell of a lot of hard work and a fair bit of luck.

“The fans have every right to be disappointed with our results and league position, but I can assure them we are all frustrated about it.

“But we’re not going to simply throw money around because the top-end riders are simply not out there.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of guys who just don’t have the time or desire to race in the UK, while others who are prepared to come over here have absolutely crazy demands.

“I’ve had people asking for double the money that our leading riders are on as well as expecting their machinery and transport to be provided for them, but we can’t be held to ransom like that.

“We have to think about the long-term future of the club rather than risking its financial stability in the short-term.”

Panthers return to the track on Monday (August 12) when they go to Wolverhampton for the fourth of seven consecutive away meetings.

King’s Lynn rider Nicklas Porsing has been drafted in as a guest at reserve with the club no nearer to signing a permanent replacement for Bradley Wilson-Dean.

Panthers then go to King’s Lynn (August 19), Ipswich (August 22) and Swindon (August 29).

“I still feel we have the potential to pick up points on the road, but we’re going to need everyone to be at their best,” added Johnson. “Too many are currently out of form or getting over injuries.”

Meanwhile Wilson-Dean has spoken about the frustration caused by his season-ending collarbone injury, suffered in a defeat at Belle Vue in June.

“My collarbone should have been an easy fix,” New Zealand champion Wilson-Dean insisted.

“I should have been back racing within a few weeks but it’s not healing and I’m in just as much pain now as I was after I did it.

“I’m back at the hospital in 10 days to talk more with them.

“I’m gutted that my season has ended this way but I’ll be back next season better than ever.”

Ty Proctor has signed up for the rest of the season after initially signing a 28-day deal to act as cover,