SWINDON ROBINS: Don't panic - Swindon skipper
6:00am Wednesday 12th September 2012 in By Andy Warren, Deputy sports editor, firstname.lastname@example.org, @AndyWarren_
SWINDON skipper Hans Andersen has called for calm after the Robins lost ground in the battle for top spot in the Elite League.
Defeat at Poole on Monday night means the quest for the summit is no longer in the Blunsdon side’s hands, with the Pirates only needing to win at Birmingham on Monday to ensure they earn the right to pick their play-off semi-final opponents.
But Andersen is convinced being top of the pile at the end of the regular season does not guarantee the Elite League title, and believes everyone associated with the Robins should still be confident going into the play-offs.
“Obviously we want to finish at the top of the league, but I am not really sure what all the fuss is about because when you reach the play-offs all the teams are going to be fired up,” he said.
“All of the teams know that if they perform well they can get through to the grand final, but if they don’t their season is over, so every team is dangerous.
“The play-offs will never be easy, and a good example was Coventry a couple of years ago because they were struggling a little bit going into it and ended up winning.
“Not having the pick is not the end of the world, even though there are some favourable tracks to go to, but at the end of the day every team that gets in the play-offs are potential title winners.”
The Robins went down by eight points in wet conditions at Wimborne Road, but Andersen believes there is no cause for concern going into the play-offs.
“We ran them close, but to be fair they are a lot stronger outfit now than they were at the start of the season, because (Piotr) Pawlicki and (Krzysztof) Kasprzak are quality riders.
“To lose by eight when not everyone was firing was not too bad, but I think I should have won a race or two more.
“But we were up against them on this track where they all ride so well and we were up against good riders in every race, so it wasn’t too bad.
“If Pawlicki hadn’t split our pair then we could have come away with something.”
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