SWINDON ROBINS: Patchett hails homecoming hero Rosco
6:00am Wednesday 24th October 2012 in By Andy Warren, Deputy sports editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AndyWarren_
CO-PROMOTER Gary Patchett has lavished praise on team manager Alun Rossiter after the revitalised Robins stormed to the Elite League title.
Rossiter returned to the club during the winter following two years at Coventry, and has had an instant impact as the Robins bounced back from finishing bottom in 2011 to claim the title at Poole on Monday night.
Patchett believes the return of Rossiter played a vital part in the Robins’ revival, and was pleased to see his old friends answer his critics in style.
“If there is one person I have to give credit to above anyone else, then it is Rosco,” he said.
“He is a breath of fresh air and he lights a room up when he walks in, and his enthusiasm is infectious.
“It hurt when he left in 2009, and I know the reasons why but they are history now, and he is back where he belongs.
“He has been criticised in the past for not being able to deliver the goods, but he did it at Coventry and he has done it now with his hometown club to silence the critics for good.”
The duo worked hard over the winter to turn the club around, and Patchett admitted the job seemed a daunting one at first.
“This year was a clean slate and an opportunity to start again,” he said.
“We got stuck in a rut and losing became a habit just like winning became a habit this season, and it was hard for us.
“There were times when we couldn’t buy a win, and it didn’t matter what we did but nothing went right.
“We started questioning ourselves, but what happened in the winter has turned the club around.
“But I got my mate back, and look what has happened, it has been brilliant.”
Having tasted the highs on Monday night, Patchett is now keen never to feel the lows again having finished on the losing side in both the 2007 and 2009 finals.
“It would have been hard to take to lose it for a third time, and from a supporters’ point of view I know exactly what they are feeling,” he said.
“The fans have been amazing for us all season, and all 10 riders we have used this year have put in a shift.
“They have all done it when they have been needed, and they have their rewards now.”