TROY Batchelor insisted the Robins can’t use having to do without star man Peter Kildemand at Eastbourne as an excuse for their 54-37 loss on Saturday night.

The Dane was on European Championship (SEC) duty in Slovakia on the same evening, meaning he had to be replaced by a six-point Premier League rider, Justin Sedgmen, due to the fact the British authorities do not recognise the SEC.

In Kildemand’s absence Sedgmen failed to score, but Batchelor insisted that can’t be used as an excuse to explain away a defeat where only Simon Gustafsson (15 points) truly hit top gear.

“It was always going to be pretty tough without Pete but we can’t make too many excuses really because they rode pretty good,” he said.

“I think we struggled a bit and there’s no real reason why but we have to get on with it and improve and learn from this.

“I scored paid nine but I struggled to start with and had to pull my finger out a little by the end.

“We have to look forward to Monday now and that’s a meeting we really need to be looking to win.”

The Robins skipper was pleased to see teammate Simon Gustafsson enjoy a stellar evening, picking up 15 points, and is hopeful the Swede can now build on his good display.

“Simon knows Eastbourne well and he was always expected to score some big points, so hopefully he can take something from that,” he said.

“Speedway is all about confidence and after doing that on Saturday it shows he can do it and he now needs to go and do that on Monday.

“He’s a better rider than he’s been showing of late for sure and hopefully this starts something for him.”

While Gustafsson enjoyed his best night of the season so far it was another tough evening for teenager Nathan Greaves, but Batchelor insisted it’s all about learning for the young reserve.

“I think he crashed into the fence three times which is a really hard night, but it’s a tough little track,” he said.

“I’ve done the same thing he’s done before so it’s all about learning."