League leaders ordered to keep on winning

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NEIL Machin is urging Sheffield to continue their winning form when they face reigning Premier League champions Edinburgh at Owlerton on Thursday.

The Tigers owner was delighted to see Eric Boocock’s men secure maximum points against fellow title hopefuls Workington last week.

And with the possibility of Josh Auty returning to the side for Thursday’s big clash with the Scottish side, Machin feels Sheffield can maintain their lead in the title race.

He said: “Last week against Workington I thought we were excellent and we will need to be on similar form for this meeting against the champions.

“Edinburgh are a strong team once again this season which is never easy when you are so successful the season before, it’s always tough to maintain a high standard for the following season.

“But they will come here and give us a good meeting, there is no doubt about that. They have good riders who can go well around our track. It will need another solid all-round display from the boys. We have really enjoyed a good run and it’s nice to see the reserves chipping in with very useful scores.

“Simon Lambert and Ashley Birks have been riding well and I hope that continues over the next few weeks.”

Tigers are about to enter the second part of their Premier League schedule and they are top of the league, but teams below them have meetings in hand.

Machin said: “We are in a good position but everyone acknowledges that we’ve thrown some points away here and there. Glasgow have meetings in hand on all the teams in the race for the title and they are looking particularly strong. They’ve just signed Richard Sweetman and they are looking powerful in every department.

“But we will continue to work hard for the rest of the season.

“We’re top of the league and still challenging in the Knockout Cup which us great and it certainly gives the Sheffield fans plenty to enjoy.”

Tigers have already put Edinburgh out of the Knockout Cup and will face Workington in a tough quarter-final tie over two legs. The home leg is on Thursday, July 21 with the return at Derwent Park two nights later.

Machin said: “For us to face Workington and Edinburgh in successive rounds of the cup means we have had a tough, tough draw.

“If we can come through over two legs against Workington then we have to have a great chance of going all the way in that competition.

“It’s just fantastic for the team to be competitive and pushing for honours.”