Panthers hoping to turn it on for the TV cameras

Team boss Carl Johnson has called for his Panthers riders to click in front of a watching nation.

Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 9:40 am
Updated Thursday, 2nd May 2019, 9:43 am
Hans Andersen is the new Panthers number one now the May averages have come into effect.
Hans Andersen is the new Panthers number one now the May averages have come into effect.

The city side travel to Swindon for their latest SGB Premiership fixture on Bank Holiday Monday (7.30pm) – the first domestic meeting of the season to be screened live by BT Sport.

It’s been a mixed bag for Panthers in the league so far with a narrow home success against Poole, a derby draw against King’s Lynn and a Monday defeat at Belle Vue. They also lost to the Aces twice in the SGB Premiership Supporters’ Cup competition.

Johnson said: “We’ve not had all seven riders click on the same night so far and hopefully that can happen on Monday.

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“There will be a lot of people watching and we need to show everyone what we’re about.

“We’ve been competitive in every meeting and that’s a real plus even though results haven’t always gone our way.

“In every defeat we could, and probably should, have got a lot closer to Belle Vue and we know we could easily have beaten King’s Lynn when we drew with them as well.

“But we’ve now got to start putting points on the board on a consistent basis and we can’t afford to carry any passengers.

“We need to cut down the number of last places we’re running and get all the little problems sorted which have affected us.”

It’s all change for the city side ahead of the visit to the revamped Abbey Stadium track.

New May averages are now in effect which means captain Hans Andersen rises into the number one berth in place of Rohan Tungate.

There is also a change at reserve with Bradley Wilson-Dean dropping down to the bottom of the order alongside Aaron Summers with Ben Barker stepping up into the main body of the side.

Johnson added: “Bradley has the potential to be a trump card at reserve.

“We always knew we would be guaranteed a couple of strong men at six and seven due to the way the team has been built.

“It’s going to be tough for Ben to move up into the main body and he’s one who certainly needs to step up his form along with Lasse.

“Both of those boys have had mechanical issues so far and I still don’t think Ben is 100 per-cent over the injuries that finished his season early last year.

“He’s only going to get better with more time on the bike, but it is vital he is scoring points for us.

“It will be interesting at Swindon on the new track. It’s smaller than it used to be.

“They’ve only had a couple of home meetings so it may be a good time to catch them while they still get fully dialled in themselves.

“They have a very strong top five but I’m confident we can win the reserve battles.”

Swindon are spearheaded by 2017 world champion Jason Doyle. His fellow Aussie, Troy Batchelor, Polish pair Tobiasz Musielak and Dawid Lampart, and British talent Adam Ellis complete a strong top order.

Zach Wajtknecht and James Shanes are the Robins’ reserve pair.

New Panthers averages: Hans Andersen 7.60, Rohan Tungate 7.36, Lasse Bjerre 6.14, Ben Barker 5.63, Charles Wright 5.46, Bradley Wilson-Dean 5.27, Aaron Summers 4.97.