Sheffield Tigers star determined to sustain improving form

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Josh Bates is desperate to hit top form for Sheffield over the business end of the season.

The Barnsley boy has experienced mixed fortunes for Tigers in recent weeks but was back to his best with successive race wins to see them over the line against Scunthorpe. Bates, 20, admits he has had his fair share of problems in recent weeks and has been disappointed by his recent Premier League form.

But the British U21 Champion hopes he has turned a corner – and he is eyeing a big performance as they aim to overturn an 18pt deficit in the second leg of their League Cup semi-final with Somerset at Owlerton on Thursday (7.30).

Said Bates: “I’ve had a tough few meetings but I rode better last week, at least in my last two rides, so hopefully I can do more of that. I still wasn’t as good as I want it to be, but I’ll take the positives and try to find some better form. I’ve had some problems and things haven’t always been going my way but I think I’m over that now. We have some big meetings coming up so hopefully I can put together a run of form and do a good job for the team.”

Meanwhile, Bates insists their side have what it takes to be genuine title contenders despite only scrapping into the Premier League play-offs in sixth place.

He added: “We’re in the play-offs now which is the main thing and I don’t see why we can’t still have a chance to win the title.

“We’ll need things to go our way, and fingers crossed they will, but we’re a strong team with good riders so I think we can do well.”