TROY Batchelor was encouraged by Swindon’s performance in Manchester against Belle Vue Aces last week – and expects a fitter Robins squad to improve when lining up against Poole Pirates in today’s SGB Premiership double header.

The Robins were without popular Pole Tobiasz Musielak at the National Speedway Stadium, and recorded only five points from his rider replacements rides as Belle Vue recorded a timely 49-41 win.

Jason Doyle raced despite struggling with his breathing after puncturing his lung and breaking a rib only a fortnight earlier after a crash in Poland, while reserve duo Zach Wajtknecht and James Shanes registered just two points between them from eight rides.

Shanes has since been dropped by Robins boss Rossiter, who has drafted the in-form Ellis Perks into his squad.

And an optimistic Batchelor is hopeful that improvements to the team can inspire a second victory at Poole this season.

He said: “It was a shame we couldn’t win at Belle Vue last week, but that’s the way it goes.

“We’re a good team, and have the potential to win. But it’s still very early in the season, everything is all to play for.”

Below-par performances from Robins’ reserve berth has undoubtedly cost the club additional Premiership points.

But Batchelor insists a developing Wajtknecht is putting the effort in that is required for him to move into the team’s top five.

“Reserves can win meetings for us,” said Batchelor.

“Zach (Wajtknecht) is getting better, but he likes it when there is no pressure on him and he can cruise through.

“Zach will want to move up and be good enough for the top five, he’ll be working hard on that.”