Panthers chief believes there’s more good awaydays to come

Team boss Carl Johnson believes Panthers can claim more away success in the coming days.

Thursday, 6th June 2019, 9:36 am
Rohan Tungate returns to action tonight.

The city men began a run of four successive fixtures on the road with a 47-43 triumph at reigning champions Poole last Thursday when leading from start to finish.

And Johnson has targeted more precious SGB Premiership points for his third-placed side from a derby date at Ipswich tonight (Thursday) ahead of a Monday visit to Wolverhampton.

They are gunning for revenge in the first of those trips after suffering a heavy home defeat at the hands of Ipswich last month.

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Johnson said: “It was an excellent result at Poole to pick up our first away win since being back in the top flight. The plan now is to follow it up with more points on the road tonight and on Monday.

“We always set out with the intention of getting something from an away meeting and the next two will be no different. I feel we’re capable of going well at Ipswich and Wolverhampton.

“We owe Ipswich one for the defeat they gave us at our place and I’m convinced it will be a different story tonight.

“Wolverhampton is a track that will suit many of our riders – especially Scott Nicholls after he rode so well for them earlier this season.

“We’ve put ourselves into a good position in the table. It’s all about finishing in the top four and we’ve shown we’re capable of getting results home and away, and that will hopefully keep us there.”

Panthers will operate the rider replacement at number one against Ipswich with skipper Hans Andersen ruled out due to a shoulder injury.

Fellow heat leader Rohan Tungate returns after missing the victory at Poole with an aggravated leg problem, but Josh Bates is still out.

Bates, who has only ridden once for the city club following his arrival last month, is still being troubled by a rib injury sustained in a crash while riding for his SGB Championship club, Leicester. He is expected to attempt a comeback in the second tier this weekend.

Panthers have booked former Ipswich man Kyle Newman, who now rides for Eastbourne in the SGB Championship, to guest tonight.

Johnson hopes to have Andersen and Bates back for the trip to Wolverhampton on Monday, but they will be without Charles Wright at Monmore Green due to his participation in a World Championship qualifier that day. They are entitled to call in a guest for him.

New June averages have come into effect and they could work in Panthers’ favour with in-form Bradley Wilson-Dean dropping to reserve and Bates climbing into the main body of the team.

n Meanwhile Johnson insists a controversial move involving Craig Cook is of no concern to him.

The former British champion walked out on Panthers on the eve of the 2019 season following a dispute about sponsors’ logos.

However, Cook has now signed for King’s Lynn – another of the SGB Premiership clubs owned by Panthers supremo Keith Chapman.

“It is of no issue to me where Craig rides this season,” said Johnson.

“He clearly didn’t want to be a part of the Peterborough team so we moved on as a club and he has done the same as an individual.

“It’s no surprise to me that he had a great debut for King’s Lynn because we all know he is a top quality rider, but my focus is on the seven men currently representing Panthers.”

Cook scored 14 points in Lynn’s 52-38 win over Wolverhampton on Monday.