Aces blessed with fantastic four - Rosco
5:30am Thursday 10th April 2014 in By Andy Warren, Deputy sports editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AndyWarren_
ALUN Rossiter admitted Belle Vue’s power-packed top four will give his Robins side a difficult night when the two teams meet at Blunsdon this evening.
The Aces possess one of the strongest looking Elite League sides on paper, with a heat leader trio of Matej Zagar, Craig Cook and Scott Nicholls ably supported by rising star Richie Worrall at second string.
Although Michael Palm Toft is a perceived weak link in the Aces top five, Rossiter knows the four riders above him in the pecking order will give his side a run for the money, while the Robins team boss has also called for more from Dane, Nicolai Klindt, after he only managed one point against Coventry last Thursday.
“It’s going to be a very tough one for us tonight because they have a very solid top four, although we do have belief in our own riders as well,” he said.
“Zagar, on his day, can beat anybody by the length of a straight but he’s a bit of an enigma. He can either be outstanding or he just does want to play, if the real Matej Zagar turns up we all know how good he can be around the Abbey.
“It’s not just him either, Scott Nicholls is obviously no stranger to the Abbey after his time here and Craig Cook has started the season on fire. Putting my Great Britain cap on that is great news for me but it’s going to be hard work for us because he really is a rider in form.
“I want to see the boys tested really after last week and I’m hoping Nicolai will step to the front a little bit more now after the couple of meetings I’ve seen. He needs to be making sure he’s beating the reserves, that’s for sure.”
The Robins boss will have skipper Troy Batchelor available once again following his return from Grand Prix duty in New Zealand, with his influence off the track just as important as his performances on it.
“He’s a big character and it will be great to have him back, although Bjarne (Pedersen) did a fantastic job for us last week as a guest,” he said.
“Batch’s presence is infectious as he brings a bit of banter to things and that’s great, that’s why he’s captain. He brings that little bit more out of the boys and that’s what we need because this is an important meeting for us.”
Rossiter is also looking forward to seeing what new reserve Dan Greenwood has to offer as he prepares to make his debut tonight.
“Dan is a rider I did have half and eye on before, I can say that,” he said. “I know his engine tuner and he was singing his praises and telling me he has good equipment, which bodes well.
“He’s keen as well, which is a good sign, and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do.”
A collection will take place at the meeting for injured rider Darryl Ritchings, who remains in Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital following his crash in last week's match against Coventry. Money raised from the 50/50 draw will also be added to the total.
Supporters will also have the opportunity to sign a book sending best wishes to Darryl, which will be forwarded to the rider and his family.
Rossiter said: "We've already had several people asking how they can help, and this is a chance for everyone to assist a great cause. Our thoughts and prayers are with Darryl and his family, and I'm sure the Swindon public will be happy to support him in this way."
The Robins Supporters Club will be organising the collection and the book will be available to sign at their stand.