Allitt praises King's Lynn Stars but insists play-off scrap with Belle Vue is far from over
PUBLISHED: 09:53 25 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:53 25 September 2018
Team boss Dale Allitt lauded King's Lynn's stomach for the fight after claiming the box seat ahead of next Monday's Premiership play-off semi-final decider at the Adrian Flux Arena
The Stars recovered from a 10-point deficit to win 49-41 in the first leg at Belle Vue.
Reserve Michael Palm Toft instigated the turnaround, totalling five wins from seven outings in a bumper 18-paid-19 with top dogs Robert Lambert and Niels-Kristian Iversen coming good when it mattered.
“I think the track grade after heat eight did us a bit of a favour, it gave us that time to adjust things because the surface was slicker than we thought it would be,” said Allitt.
“We had to adapt because we were outmuscled early on, but that was certainly not the case in the second half of the meeting. We fought tooth and nail to claw it back bit by bit.
“We have been there before and knew we needed to fight harder in every department, from the starts and from the back. Our first turns had to be harder and they were.
“We have said so many times that this team never knows when it is beaten. When you have that belief instilled in the team it takes an awful lot to break it.”
Allitt also hailed Ty Proctor’s reaction to being pulled out of heat 12 in a reshuffle designed to squeeze the most from the remaining races.
“Credit to Ty, he was a big part of what happened in heat 12,” said Allitt. “I spoke with him and he said ‘you have to do what you have to do’. That allowed us to put Simon (Lambert) in and use Tofty in heat 14.
“There wasn’t any other option but to do that. Simon and Thomas (Jorgensen) had only had two rides each up to that point.
“We got a bit of fortune in that race with Steve Worrall stopping but sometimes you make your own luck and tactically, heat 14 worked perfectly for us.”
The win gives table-topping King’s Lynn the perfect platform to push for a place in the final but Allitt insists nothing will be taken for granted.
“It is not done by a long shot,” he added.
“We are 15 races in. After seven we were 10 down and pulled it back to lead by eight, they could do exactly the same.
“We will not be complacent. Our ethic all year has been to take it one match at a time and we will fight as hard in heat one back at our place as we did when 10 down halfway through.”
Tempers flared after heat 14 with pushing and shoving at the end of the race but Allitt was philosophical about the flashpoint.
“We’ve kissed and made up with the mechanic, it was all okay in the end,” he said.
“I think it can be summed up in three words – pride, passion and belief.”