Stead: ‘Let’s defend our title’

Sheffield Tigers (Speedway) manager Simon Stead, pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Speedway MC 4
Sheffield Tigers (Speedway) manager Simon Stead, pictured. Picture: Marie Caley NSST Speedway MC 4
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Sheffield team boss Simon Stead wants the Tigers to put their KO Cup misery behind them to “kick on” and defend the Championship title.

Scunthorpe ended Tigers cup dreams with a huge 56-34 win at the Eddie Wright Raceway on Friday night.

After a miserable week losing top two Kyle Howarth and Charles Wright through injury, Stead now believes they must re-group to face Ipswich at Owlerton on Thursday night.

He said: “It’s been a tough week for us losing Kyle and Charles. It’s fairly obviously where we were lacking at Scunthorpe.

“To lose our top two in less than seven days has obviously floored us. We had just reshuffled the side and we all felt confident after beating Glasgow last week.

“Obviously this is a setback but we now have no alternative to kick on and concentrate on retaining the league title. It will be difficult but I think the changes we’ve made are excellent.

“The one silver lining was the performance of Broc Nicol, who was outstanding to score 11 points in his first meeting at Scunthorpe.

“He’s had a hugely positive impact on the strength of the team and once we’re back at full strength I feel we can be a force.”

The clash with the Suffolk side is a repeat of last year’s Championship Play-Off final and Stead reckons the title defence truly starts now.

He added: “It’s an old cliché that we have no option but to concentrate on the league after going out the cup, but that actually is the case for us.

“We’ve got no excuses, no distractions. It’s about getting everyone fit and firing on all cylinders. Broc has been a great addition to the side which gives us a real trump card in the middle order.

“Now we have to get Georgie Wood going at reserve and I think we’ll be in a really good position. There’s lot of good teams out there but we can deliver results I’m sure.

“We just need to find some momentum and get on a run of good results to get everyone confident and buzzing. That starts on Thursday night.”