Ashley Birks is desperate to keep his good Sheffield form going when he lines up against Newcastle in tonight’s League Cup tie at Owlerton (7.30).
Birks is doubling-up with Elite League Lakeside this year – and he’s struggled for form with the Hammers which makes his outings with the Tigers even more important.
The local lad, who is in his second spell at Owlerton, has chipped in with some vital points as Sheffield have gone four unbeaten to launch their campaign.
Said Birks: “It’s a confidence thing with me, especially away from home.
“I know I scored nine at Scunthorpe but that’s effectively another ‘home’ track for me. I have struggled away from home in the Elite League with Lakeside and that’s affected my confidence.
“What I need to do is keep getting good scores at home - both at Sheffield and Lakeside - and take it from there.
“My bikes are good, I’ve got a new mechanic this year, and there aren’t any complaints on that score.
“It’s down to me, for instance I was at Poole last week and had two bad rides before I had a good one, then I wished I could have started the meeting again.
“But with Sheffield I want to make sure I’m going good week-in, week-out.
“This is certainly a team which can win some silverware and I need to do everything I can to make that happen.”
Tigers have named an unchanged side after seeing off Plymouth in their opening Premier League fixture last Thursday.
Newcastle include talented British racer Lewis Kerr, who is one of the top reserves in the Elite League with title favourites King’s Lynn, Swedish star Ludvig Lindgren and new signing Steve Worrall, a Premier League title winner with Edinburgh last season.
Sheffield: Simon Stead, Andre Compton, Ashley Birks, Ty Proctor, David Bellego, Josh Bates, Arthur Sissis.
Newcastle: Steve Worrall, Christian Henry, Lewis Kerr, Anton Rosen, Ludvig Lindgren, Simon Nielsen, Lewis Rose.