Shock for King’s Lynn Stars fans as team boss Allitt returns to pits
- Credit: Ian Burt
Team boss Dale Allitt lifted the lid on his decision to defy medical advice in the hope of inspiring King's Lynn to avoid bottom spot in the SGB Premiership.
The Stars lost part one of their scheduled double header 50-43 to Poole Pirates before rain scuppered the second meeting against Rye House.
Allitt's presence in the pits was a shock to most at the Adrian Flux Arena after being away for more than a month due to health problems.
In a post-meeting interview, Allitt spoke of his dismay at how the season has panned out for King's Lynn but outlined his determination to push forward again in 2018.
'I haven't had the all clear yet and won't do for another couple of weeks,' said Allitt. 'Everybody told me to stay stress free but I am here because we want to win things.
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'I can't tell people how hard it is when you start the season winning a trophy, the first we have won since coming back to the top flight. We were going well.
'With what happened that night (against Poole on July 13) and since, I have not been in the loop but could not just stand by and see us go into the relegation play-off without trying to do something about it.
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'That was why I came back, I spoke to the boys and we felt it made a difference.
'It is not the same when you have a different team manager every week but it is also very short term because I am not allowed to drive. I won't be going to Belle Vue or Wolves and unfortunately, it was not enough.
'I am hurting more than anyone. I built a team at the start of the year and for various reasons – and I don't want to comment on what happened that night because a lot has already been said – we have ended up where we are.
'Whatever happens over the winter, we need stability and to get the pride back into the club, to give back something to the fans and hopefully, we can do that.'
Assessing the Poole meeting, which saw visiting reserve Timo Lahti steal the show with five wins from seven outings, Allitt said: 'We huffed and puffed but never quite got there. Lahti made a huge difference at reserve and it was always going to be difficult.
'Sometimes it can come down to luck. You race a team on one day and their riding order is different, Lahti is doing well in Sweden but he's at reserve. That hurt us.
'On the plus side, we had Thomas Jorgensen and all of the boys responded well, they all had a crack.
'Robert (Lambert) won heat 13 which was good because he has been struggling with an injury, as has Kai (Huckenbeck) which was why neither of them did heat 15.
'We needed them for the second match, which Robert was always going to do by the way – I read a lot of speculation on that.
'It is disappointing and a little bit surreal for me. A few weeks ago we were looking at second place and now we are in a relegation battle which I never dreamt would be the case.'
On the Rye House rain-off, Allitt said: 'You just couldn't make it up. The weather seems ridiculous for this time of year but you have to look at the decisions made.
'It is crazy that we're trying to fit in all these meetings for everyone. Speedway used to run until October and we still have a month before the play-off final. It could affect someone's chances at both ends of the table which is totally unfair.
'I feel for Rye House because they've watched the first one. We bust a gut to beat Poole but we couldn't do it. We are working hard to make sure we get it in before the cut-off.'
An announcement regarding the Rye House fixture will be released in due course.
Stars 43: Thomas Jorgensen 12, Michael Palm Toft 8+1, Kai Huckenbeck 8, Robert Lambert 6+3, Tomas H Jonasson 5, Josh Auty 4+1, Simon Lambert 0.
Poole 50: Timo Lahti 17, Hans Andersen 9+1, Brady Kurtz 8+2, Edward Kennett 6, Jack Holder 5, James Shanes 3+1, Paul Starke 2+1.