Still plenty of trophies to fight for says team boss
Team manager Carl Johnson stresses that Panthers are determined to ensure the 2017 season is a memorable one.
Johnson has refused to dwell on a run of three away defeats in as many days which all but ended the club’s already faint hopes of reaching the SGB Championship play-offs. They find themselves 17 points off the top four with just nine league meetings to go.
But Panthers have already captured the Fours crown to end a wait of more than a decade for a trophy and Johnson is targeting further honours.
He said: “We worked hard for three days but nothing went out way.
“We’re disappointed not to pick up more points or to be able to give the fans who followed us all weekend more to cheer.
“But we’re not just going to let the season fizzle out. We want to finish as high as we possibly can in the league and we’re still determined to make sure 2017 is one we can remember fondly.
“Winning the Fours earlier this month was a fantastic achievement and something everyone connected to the club enjoyed.
“We’ve still got the Pairs and the riders’ championship to go at as well as the KO Cup. We’ve got a taste for trophies now!”
Panthers are well-placed to reach the semi-finals of the KO Cup. They’re 18 points up on aggregate in a quarter-final against Scunthorpe with an away second leg to come on September 22.
They are also at second-bottom Scunthorpe this Sunday for a league clash.
Panthers are without number one Chris Harris as he is involved in a World Long Track Championship round this weekend.
Former Scunthorpe man Thomas Jorgensen, currently of Workington in the second tier, has been drafted in as a guest.
Skipper Ulrich Ostergaard is back after missing the defeat at Newcastle after being caught up in two crashes at Berwick the previous night.
Hospital checks revealed ligament damage to his left knee and right arm, but the Dane intends to race on through the pain.
In fact he was due to guest for former club Redcar tonight (Thursday).
Reserve Tom Bacon crashed out of the Friday loss at Edinburgh with shoulder damage, but is confident he’ll be fit while Bradley Wilson-Dean is expected to return after a hand problem ruled him out of the Northern tour altogether.