Speedway: Sheffield Tigers chief warns he will wield the axe if team underperform

Jason Garrity Sheffield Tigers 2016
Jason Garrity Sheffield Tigers 2016
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Sheffield co-promoter Damien Bates says he’s not afraid to axe riders if it strengthens his side’s chances of winning silverware.

The Window Centre Tigers currently sit in third place in the Premier League table - just one point behind joint leaders Glasgow and Somerset.

Despite the Owlerton outfit being on a ten meeting unbeaten run at home, Bates says the heavy 107-73 aggregate defeat to Newcastle in the Knockout Cup provided him with a few concerns ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Peterborough.

“We have picked up some decent wins at home and it’s not always been easy,” Bates said.

“We’ve had a few injuries which have meant we’ve had to battle hard as a team and we’ve done okay on the whole.

“But some of our recent away performances have been very poor and disappointing and they’ve not been what we expect from our riders, to be honest.”

Bates has pointed to the absence of Jason Garrity as a factor in their below-par form away from their home track at Owlerton.

“I think we’ve desperately missed Jason and hopefully he’ll feel fit enough to make his come back from injury against Peterborough,” Bates continued.

“He’s not just a big points scorer on track, but he’s a big presence in the pits on a race night too and that’s what we’ve been missing a little I think.

“The business end of the season is approaching now and everyone needs to start raising their performances again.

“As a promoter, I need to see that every rider is on their ‘A game’ and if I don’t think that they are, then I’m not afraid of making changes if I have to.

“We’re in a decent position but there’s still plenty of work to be done before we’re guaranteed a play off spot.

“We want to win trophies at Sheffield; we’re an ambitious club and we want to bring success back to Owlerton.”

Supporters who are attending the FIM Speedway World Cup events at Belle Vue’s National Speedway Stadium on Friday or Saturday will be admitted into tomorrow’s meeting against Peterborough for just £10 upon production of their ticket.

Kids will be admitted free of charge during the school holidays.