SWINDON ROBINS: No holding back
6:00am Wednesday 19th September 2012 in By Andy Warren, Deputy sports editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AndyWarren_
ALUN Rossiter insists his Swindon Robins riders won’t take things easy despite the fact there is nothing riding on tonight’s meeting at Birmingham.
Poole made sure of top spot in the Elite League on Monday night with a 47-43 victory of their own at Perry Barr, meaning the Robins will now finish second with the Pirates getting the choice of play-off semi-final opponents. But while the result of tonight's meeting will not have any impact on the Robins' season, Rossiter still wants his riders to put on a show in a meeting in which the home side need to avoid a heavy defeat to secure their own play-off place.
“We know that tonight’s meeting is not life or death for us now because we can’t finish top, but we want to finish as close behind Poole as we can, so we want to win,” he said.
“We want to go into the play-offs full of confidence and winning at Birmingham is a good way to do that, but it is no good going out there and being silly.
“We saw in heat 15 on Monday night that Chris Holder and Darcy Ward didn’t bust a gut to get past Ben Barker and settled for a 3-3, and while we will race hard, we need to remember the play-offs are coming and be sensible.”
The Robins will find out their play-off opponents after tonight’s meeting, but Rossiter is not expecting a quick return to Perry Barr or a surprise semi-final clash against the Pirates.
“I imagine that Poole will probably choose to go back to Birmingham, and we will be left with either Lakeside or Peterborough, whichever one of them gets in.
“I am not overly bothered either way because we need to beat whoever we are up against, and we will just have to wait and see.
“I am not expecting Poole to want to ride us in the semis, but you never know, although I don’t think it will happen.”
Jason Doyle is on Premier League duty with Somerset and is replaced by Seb Alden, and Rossiter is pleased with the role the Swede has played this season despite not being involved in as many meetings as he would have liked.
“Seb did well at the start of the season at Birmingham and also rode well at Coventry, but he rides in Sweden which means he is riding on a lot of Thursdays, so it has been hard for him.
“We would have liked to have used him more because he has been riding brilliantly in the Premier League for Berwick and got a maximum for them recently, but unfortunately it hasn’t worked out like that.
“I wanted to get him in for a home meeting too but it didn’t happen, but he has contributed and has been part of what we have done this season.”
Meanwhile, the Robins’ Knockout Cup clash with Peterborough which was scheduled for tomorrow night has been postponed, and a date is set to be found for the meeting in October.