Three Easter wins would be a massive pick-me-up

Robert Lambert misses tomorrow's trip to Ipswich.
Robert Lambert misses tomorrow's trip to Ipswich.
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Panthers supremo Ged Rathbone has described the club’s start to the season as a ‘massive kick in the teeth’.

The city club have been beaten in both competitive meetings to date and have also lost two riders to bad injuries.

It means they only have slim hopes of advancing to the latter stages of the Premier League Cup competition after just two of their eight Southern Group meetings.

And Rathbone admits only a hat-trick of Easter successes can turn their predicament around.

Panthers have away and home dates against Ipswich Witches tomorrow (2pm in Suffolk, 7.30pm at the Showground) before travelling to Rye House on Easter Monday (2pm).

Rathbone said: “It has been a disastrous start to the season both in terms of results and injuries.

“We assembled a team that we expected to be extremely strong and home and competitive on the road – and I still believe that can happen.

“We will work with every rider in the team to try to iron out problems they may have and develop them, but this is a results business.

“We need to start winning speedway meetings to attract supporters to the Showground.

“It has been a massive kick in the teeth so far but nothing is given to you in life.

“You have to work for everything you want and we now need to work even harder because of the situation we find ourselves in.

“We’re certainly not going to give up on the League Cup just because of two disappointing results.

“We need to respond by going to places like Ipswich and Rye House and getting wins. The target is to win all three meetings over Easter and get ourselves back into a decent position in the group.”

Panthers are expected to operate the rider replacement facility to cover the absence of injured number one Olly Allen in both meetings against Ipswich.

They have booked one exciting British prospect to guest for another in the trip to Foxhall. Jason Garrity – a star reserve in the Elite League with Coventry – takes the place of Robert Lambert who is required by his top-flight club, King’s Lynn.

Lambert returns for the evening meeting at the Showground, but his namesake Simon misses that due to Elite League action with Leicester. Dan Halsey of National League side Mildenhall has been lined up to step in.

Panthers have booked Richard Lawson to guest at number one at Rye House on Monday.