Red-hot reserve Tom Bacon insists he was always confident in his ability to perform at SGB Championship level.
Panthers’ number seven produced arguably the best performance of his career when scoring 12+2 in their terrific 50-40 away triumph at Scunthorpe last Friday – a result which catapulted them back to the top of the standings.
And Bacon followed up that fine showing with another valuable 6+2 haul as the city side saw off East Anglian rivals Ipswich 53-37 last Sunday – another significant result as it earned a place in the semi-finals of the SGB Championship Shield.
Those performances provided a remarkable upturn in form for Bacon, who had contributed only one point in two league clashes against Glasgow the previous weekend.
Bacon said: “This sport can be really difficult when things aren’t going your way. I travelled six hours to Glasgow the previous Friday, got harshly excluded in my first race, didn’t get another programmed ride and came away without a point.
“I then had a crash at home against them and an engine go at Birmingham. The sport can feel like a slog in times like that.
“But if you keep doing the right things I always believe it will go right in the end and that happened.
“I always try not to get too down after a bad night so I didn’t get too excited after having a good one at Scunthorpe, but the win there has got to be right up there with the best meetings I’ve had.
“I scored a lot of points and beat some good riders in the process. It is important to take positives from that and it was pleasing to follow it up with another good performance on Sunday.
“Starting out with a last place in heat two against Ipswich wasn’t ideal, but I got my head down again and was able to score well after that and finished with some really strong rides.
“It’s only my second season at this level, but things are going in the right direction.
“The challenge now is to keep taking the small steps forward.
“It’s always great to be part of a team doing well too. That is also the case for me with Birmingham in the National League.
“Turning up to a place where everyone has a smile on their face is good and breeds confidence.”
Bacon is certainly not the only Panthers rider in fine form currently - Danish ace Michael Palm Toft is also piling up points.
He followed up hauls of 14 (at Scunthorpe) and 13 (against Ipswich) for Panthers with a 15+3 haul for King’s Lynn in the SGB Premiership on Monday night.