Peterborough Panthers chiefs in crunch meeting ahead of another crucial Premiership contest

Panthers team boss Rob Lyon. Photo: David LowndesPanthers team boss Rob Lyon. Photo: David Lowndes
Panthers team boss Rob Lyon. Photo: David Lowndes
Panthers’ Premiership season has reached a crucial decision point with another tough test on their hands at Sheffield tonight (Thursday).

Panthers appeared to be making some headway in the race for the top four prior to Monday night’s home defeat to Wolverhampton, where they frittered away an early eight-point advantage after seemingly failing to adapt to changing track conditions.

Victory over Wolves would have put Panthers effectively within one away win of getting back into the play-off fight, but defeat leaves them very much back at square one.

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And although they remain off the bottom thanks to King’s Lynn’s hammering at Belle Vue, the reality is that the two A47 rivals are cut adrift, with Panthers ten points off the top four, and the Stars a further point behind.

That gap would further increase if Panthers lose at Owlerton tonight, a meeting for which they will be clear underdogs especially with Michael Palm Toft still on the sidelines.Club bosses were in deep discussion following Monday’s meeting, and clearly face a conundrum as to whether or not to break up a unit which performed so brilliantly last year in a bid to stage a late run for the play-offs, but potential replacements are thin on the ground.

Panthers manager Rob Lyon said: “We’ve now got to win the rest of our home matches, and we’ve also got to pull in some wins from our away meetings.“It’s not inconceivable we can do that, but as it stands at the moment it’s unlikely – we have to be realistic about that.

“Ultimately the guys who are struggling need to get it right, and we’ll see if we can get them going again and try to have a strong end to the season.”

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Hans Andersen has been struggling for Panthers, while Scott Nicholls and Palm Toft have both been hampered by injuries. Rising stars Jordan Palin and Jordan Jenkins have also been found wanting. Palm Toft has been sidelined by a shoulder injury recently.

Premiership standings: 1 Belle Vue Aces P11 23pts, 2 Ipswich Witches P11 22pts, 3 Wolverhampton Wolves P11 21pts, 4 Sheffield Tigers P9 20pts, 5 Peterborough Panthers P11 10pts, 6 King’s Lynn Stars P9 9pts.