Eastbourne clash is not ‘do-or-die’ for our play-off hopes, insists King’s Lynn Stars’ Chapman
Stars co-promoter Jonathan Chapman insists King's Lynn's clash at Eastbourne this evening is not a do-or-die meeting for his side's play-off hopes.
The top-four contenders meet on the south coast, with Lynn, currently fifth in the Elite League table, sitting just one place and five points behind their hosts.
An away win would bring the Stars within a hair's breadth of wrestling a coveted play-off position away from the Eagles. However, with more than a month left of the season, Chapman is refusing to place too much importance on tonight's result.
The Stars chief said: 'If they do beat us and take all three points we can still make the play-offs. It's not a do-or-die meeting.
'It would be nice to go there and claw back some of the deficit, but there's still enough meetings if we don't. It will tough, but the guys are definitely up for it.
'I'm full of confidence that we can make a big push for the play-offs whatever happens at Eastbourne. Matty (Mateusz Szczepaniak) and Kev (Kevin Wolbert) can be used at reserve from August and I think they, and we, will really do some damage.
'Matty's been incredible lately and he's done more than we could have ever asked. He's a King's Lynn asset and it's been so refreshing to see him doing well. With a bit more experience of away tracks I can see him being a trump card this year and growing into a head leader for the club in the future.'
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Szczepaniak top-scored with a stunning paid 16 as the Stars drew with second-placed Swindon – for the second consecutive meeting – on Monday.
Lynn travel to Eastbourne without Maciej Janowski, who is set to ride in the PMZ Silver Helmet event in Poland tonight. Team boss Rob Lyon has tweaked his line-up, moving Kevin Wolbert to number three and Mads Korneliussen to four.
The Stars will operate rider/replacement at two meaning all riders can be used in Janowski's absence to partner Niels-Kristian Iversen in the night's early heats.
Eastbourne, who lost 59-31 at Lynn before winning the return 49-41, may be without Lewis Bridger who has a hand injury.
Eastbourne boss Trevor Geer told his club's website: 'We know King's Lynn will be a stern test. Last week they secured a draw at high-flying Swindon and earlier in the season we took the three league points only by the narrowest of margins.'
Eastbourne: 1 Joonas Kylmakorpi, 2 Lukas Dryml, 3 Simon Gustafsson, 4 Cameron Woodward, 5 Lewis Bridger, 6 Denis Gizatullin, 7 Timo Lahti.
King's Lynn: 1 Niels-Kristian Iversen, 2 Rider/Replacement, 3 Kevin Wolbert, 4 Mads Korneliussen, 5 Daniel Nermark, 6 Ulrich Ostergaard, 7 Mateusz Szczepaniak.