Confident Peterborough Panthers don’t care who they face in the Premiership play-offs

Peterborough Panthers team manager Rob Lyon insists he and his riders are unconcerned by who they may face in the Premiership play-offs.

Thursday, 9th September 2021, 7:00 am
Scott Nicholls racing for Panthers against Wolverhampton earlier this season.

The four qualifiers for the title shootout are now known and the remaining issue surrounds whether it will be Wolverhampton or Panthers who finish top of the table and gain selection of semi-final opponents.

That choice will also involve Belle Vue and Sheffield, and for Panthers to remain in with a chance of top spot they will need to win at leaders Wolves next Monday (September 13).

Panthers are currently nine points adrift of their hosts with three meetings in hand. They went close on their previous visit to Monmore last month, which was their only away defeat of a stunning season so far.

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Panthers team boss Rob Lyon.

But Lyon has moved to play down the potential significance of the next meeting, with the biggest nights of the season still some way ahead.

Lyon said: “I know it’s their last fixture whereas we’ve also got Sheffield away and two more at home, but in football terms I guess Wolverhampton away is a six-pointer.

“But there are four really good teams in the play-offs, so whether we finish top or second we’re going to have to ride really, really well over two legs to win this thing.

“We’re confident we can do it. We’re confident we’ve got a good enough team to do it, and the boys are on fire at the moment.

“We’ll see what happens. We’ll go to Wolves with the same approach as we always have, and just see what we can do. The main thing is to take one meeting at a time and keep the momentum going.

“We are riding well as a team, and we want more of the same.”

Lyon also confirmed youngster Jordan Palin is targeting a rapid return to action following his recent collarbone injury.

Palin will miss the trip to Wolverhampton, but hopes to take his place in the re-arranged British Under 19 Final at Scunthorpe on Friday September 17.

Should he be fit, the 17-year-old will be one of the favourites as the meeting takes place on his home Championship track, and he could then contemplate his Panthers return the following week.

But should there be any delay, Lyon can be expected to turn to Jack Thomas again after the Birmingham rider impressed greatly with eight points in Monday’s 55-35 win over Ipswich.

Panthers remaining fixtures after the trip to Wolverhampton are Sheffield (away, Thursday, September 16), Sheffield (home, Monday, September 20) and bottom club King’s Lynn (home, Thursday, September 23).

The play-off dates are yet to be announced.