Peterborough Panthers can’t afford to carry any passengers tonight (June 21) if they are to secure a return to the top of the Premier League.
That is the message from team manager Jason Attwood ahead of a home clash against a highly-rated Plymouth team at the East of England Showground (7.30pm).
The city side have swept to five successive victories to emerge as genuine title contenders, but Attwood insists it will take a complete team performance to extend that winning streak.
He is mindful of the threat posed by a Devils side who triumphed at Alwalton last season and who, like Panthers, are tipped to make the play-offs.
Attwood said: “We know a win tonight will take us back to the top of the table and that is the position we want to be in.
“But we are also well aware of the strength of the Plymouth team and their good record at the Showground last season.
“They had a couple of narrow defeats before winning here in their third visit of 2015, and I’m sure they will be coming back tonight with the aim of at least picking up a point.
“But we need to make sure we continue our run of good performances and results and, on a personal level, I’m determined to beat Plymouth to avenge my only defeat as Peterborough team manager so far.
“I’m confident we can do that if all the boys ride to the levels that we know they can. It is a night when we cannot afford to carry any passengers.”
Panthers, who sit two points behind table-toppers Glasgow with two meetings in hand, welcome back skipper Ulrich Ostergaard and fellow Danish rider Emil Grondal. They missed the victory against the leaders 10 days ago when riding in their homeland.
Recent Czech capture Zdenek Holub makes his second appearance for the club after an encouraging debut against Glasgow, but Panthers will need Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen to be back to his best.
He endured a tough return following a month out with concussion in that win against the Scottish side.
Injured Tom Perry is the only absentee for Panthers tonight. He is expected to return from a collar-bone injury in time for the club’s next league fixture - at home to Scunthorpe - on July 12.
Panthers have both legs of a KO Cup quarter-final against unbeaten Somerset before then.
PANTHERS: Craig Cook, Emil Grondal, Zdenek Holub, Nikolaj Busk Jakobsen, Simon Lambert, Ulrich Ostergaard, Rider replacement for Tom Perry.
PLYMOUTH: Jack Holder, Brady Kurtz, Todd Kurtz, Kyle Newman, Stefan Nielsen, Ellis Perks, Sam Simota.