King’s Lynn look to step up Elite play-off bid
King's Lynn team boss Rob Lyon wants no let up from his Elite League new boys when they return to action tonight against Lakeside at the Arena Essex Raceway (7.45pm).
The Stars have been the top flight's surprise package after an eight year absence and inflicted an away defeat on table-topping Eastbourne last time out. Lyon is looking to build on that early season momentum following a fortnight's break ahead of a congested spell culminating in the Bank Holiday derby at Peterborough.
'We just need to keep chipping away now to keep ourselves up near the top of the league to try and put ourselves in a good position to have a final push around September,' he said. 'We'll go there with an open mind. No-one probably expected us to go and get something at Eastbourne with the side we had out but it'll be nice to get back into the swing of it. We've got no pressure on the team and you never know what is going to happen in speedway. They just edged past Wolverhampton on the television the other night and they have a team that looks quite solid. The two reserves contribute and most places they go they seem to be there or thereabouts.'
Olly Allen (shoulder) and Mads Korneliussen (knee) are poised to return after missing the recent Eagles' win, but Lynn's doubling up berths are again a cause for concern. The Stars employ rider replacement at number two with Scunthorpe's Swedish racer Viktor Bergstrom deputising at reserve.
'It's not ideal but we've got a few fixtures where we can't use our doubling up riders,' said Lyon. 'No disrespect to Viktor but we were quite restricted in the two or three riders that were available for us and he came back to us and said he was prepared to race. It's a no lose situation in a lot of ways. I don't think Lasse (Bjerre) or Lee Complin have any real experience of Lakeside. It's a difficult track to master the first time you go there.
'Where we are little stretched is going to be at number two, using rider replacement, when really we can only use the reserves or Olly will get one ride. Without being negative, realistically it's not a fixture that we would target and think we could get points. We'll look on it as a bonus and we'll be trying our very best. The way Lakeside have been riding at home it would've nice to take a full team because we would be confident.'
Lyon believes Monday's trip to Belle Vue could prove a happy hunting ground after a narrow ten-point defeat in March before welcoming champions Coventry to the Norfolk Arena who look set to track new high profile signing Emil Sayfutidnov.
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'Belle Vue is one I have a good feeling about having been there once already this season,' he said. 'I think after the Lakeside meeting we would try and aim to pick up five or six points from our next two or three fixtures. Coventry at home will be tough but they all are for us in this league. They look a bit like Poole in the sense riders such as (Kenni) Larsen and (Ryan) Fisher can ride our track as well as anybody – albeit not quite at the same level as the Poole boys.'
Lakeside duo Lee Richardson and Stuart Robson return this evening after missing last night's league trip to the Bees which clashed with the British semi-final. Peter Ljung (back) is battling to be fit.
• Hammers: 1 Lee Richardson, 2 Kauko Nieminen, 3 Adam Shields, 4 Piotr Swiderski, 5 Peter Ljung or r/r, 6 Robert Mear, 7 Stuart Robson.
• Stars: 1 Kenneth Bjerre, 2 r/r, 3 Olly Allen, 4 Mads Korneliussen, 5 Niels-Kristian Iversen, 6 Viktor Bergstrom, 7 Fillip Sitera.