Sheffield speedway: Rallying call for Tigers after Leicester defeat

Tigers boss Simon Stead is urging his riders to stay positive in the aftermath of their bashing by Leicester.

Tuesday, 10th October 2017, 12:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 12:03 pm
Josh Bates races inside Leicester's Cameron Heeps. Pic Andy Garner

They slumped to a 26-point home defeat at the hands of the Premiership’s bottom club on Monday making their return leg in the promotion play-off almost impossible.

Now they have to lift themselves for the Knockout Cup semi-finals with Ipswich – starting with the home leg on Thursday and the return in Suffolk on Friday. Said Stead: “Monday was a big blow to us. Our pride was hurt. It underlined the fact that there is still a gap in class between the Premiership and Championship – but we made it look easy for them.

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“We should have been more competitive but we just weren’t good enough and we have to put it behind us now.

“We’ve got Ipswich again but this time in the Cup. They’ll be up for revenge after we won the league against them and this time we’re without Josh Grajczonek and Kyle Howarth through injury.

“We need to build up a useful lead here to take to their place if we’re to have any chance of going through to the final.”

Scott Nicholls, who struggled on Monday, will again step in for Sheffield in place of Grajczonek.

Sheffield Tigers manager Simon Stead

Nicholls apologised for his performance on social media

He wrote: “Man alive what a shocker! No excuses. I can only apologise to Sheffield for such a bad performance.”

Nicholls was impressive when helping Tigers win at Ipswich in the Grand Final and Stead is backing him to bounce back.

“He is a class act and I’m certain Monday was just a blip” he said.

Sheffield Tigers manager Simon Stead

“He helped us win the league title and he was the obvious choice. It’s never easy booking guests and trying to cover for injuries all the time but I think every Sheffield fan can forgive Scott for one bad meeting after what he’s done.”