Panthers under orders to bring the House down

Simon Lambert misses tomorrow's meeting.
Simon Lambert misses tomorrow's meeting.
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Panthers are under orders to turn disappointment into delight tomorrow night.

The city racers fluffed their lines when slipping to a costly home defeat at the hands of Somerset last Sunday in their first competitive outing of the new campaign.

It is a defeat which has made the already tough task of qualifying for the latter stages of the Premier League Cup from the Southern Group even more difficult.

But Panthers can improve their prospects with victory against Rye House at the East of England Showground tomorrow (7.30pm).

“It definitely wasn’t the start to the season we were planning on making last Sunday,” admitted team boss Carl Johnson.

“We didn’t perform as well as we believe we can, but you also have to give credit where due to a good Somerset team.

“We had a few things go against us, but you get those days in speedway and all we can do is put the defeat behind us and move on.

“I had some issues with the way Somerset riders seemed to be rolling at the start. The referee told me he would have a word with their team manager when I complained to him, but nothing seemed to be done about it.

“Everyone is disappointed about the result and so they should be, but you only have to look back to last season when the club also lost the first home meeting and still went on to top the group and reach the final of the League Cup.

“That shows it is still very possible although it goes without saying that we can’t afford to slip up at home again. There is no doubt in my mind that we will bounce back and put it right against Rye House.

“My opinion on the team has not changed. I fully believe we have a side capable of challenging for all available trophies.

“Hopefully we can make the track a bit grippier which will certainly suit us as the home team.”

Panthers are without reserve Simon Lambert tomorrow. He is required by his Elite League club, Leicester.

Club bosses were still in the process of securing a guest to replace him yesterday evening. Simon Nielsen of Newcastle is their top target.