Stars will overcome injuries setback

King's Lynn team boss Rob Lyon insists the Stars' recent double injury blow will not wreck their Premier Trophy defence ahead of Workington's Norfolk Arena visit on Wednesday night.

King's Lynn team boss Rob Lyon insists the Stars' recent double injury blow will not wreck their Premier Trophy defence ahead of Workington's Norfolk Arena visit on Wednesday night.

Lynn's first choice reserve pair James Brundle and John Oliver have both been sidelined in the opening weeks of the new campaign - Oliver (thigh) ruled out for the season after major surgery.

Brundle aggravated a long standing foot problem in an early crash at Stoke over the weekend but Lyon is backing his treble winners to maintain their unbeaten start.

Lynn asset Simon Lambert and Oxford's Conference racer Grant McDonald are the first of a trio of bottom end guest bookings on Wednesday ahead of Saturday's Workington return and a KO Cup tie at Newcastle 24 hours later.


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“The injuries are a setback but we are still positive and moving forward,” said Lyon. “We want to make the semis and final of this competition and do well in the KO Cup at Newcastle. We still need to sit down and assess exactly where we go. It's difficult because we don't have a lot of points to play with in terms of changing things around. James' situation complicates things as well. He's suffered a reoccurrence of his old foot problem at Stoke along with a sore neck and shoulder. We don't want to rush him back until he feels 100%, so we can't put a timescale on that.

“Losing John is obviously a big blow, but we had Andrew Tulley come in at Stoke and he was a match winner for us - it was almost a John Oliver type display.”

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Tulley is booked again for Lynn's trip to Newcastle but Lyon is focussed on his side's Workington double header. Elite League starlet James Wright is the one familiar face in the Comets' line up after a close season clear out at Derwent Park.

Wright returned from a lengthy injury layoff with paid 17 in the weekend 53-40 home defeat against table topping Birmingham.

“It's like a new broom has swept clean,” said Lyon. “They've gone with a lot of new, young riders. You have to be prepared to give it time when you do that because it will be up and down - especially away as they get used to new tracks. There's definitely some quality. Wright is progressing well, Kauko Nieminen is a useful rider and the Danish lad (Ken Hansen) is going to be a good racer. We will hope to pick up four or five points over these meetings to take the pressure off a little bit. If we then beat Birmingham at home we're there in terms of qualification. I know the second highest team also qualifies across the three groups but I don't want to be relying on other teams to drop points.”

Lyon pinpoints Lynn's settled top five as the key to their unbeaten start.

“Keeping five of the same seven riders from last year was a big plus,” he said. “They've all been there and know how to win. Psychologically that helped us take the confidence of last season into this one. I'm very pleased with the boys. They are riding well and everyone is chipping in.”

t Parade 7.30pm, first race 7.45pm.

t Stars: 1 Tomas Topinka, 2 Chris Mills, 3 Daniel Nermark, 4 Trevor Harding, 5 Paul Lee, 6 Grant McDonald, 7 Simon Lambert.

t Comets: 1 James Wright, 2 Mattia Carpanese, 3 Kenneth Hansen, 4 Craig Branney, 5 Kauko Nieminen, 6 Charles Wright, 7 Jamie Robertson.

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