7:00am Thursday 8th September 2011
By Ned Payne
JAN Staechmann has urged Swindon’s supporters not to build Mikkel B Jensen up too quickly, ahead of the youngster’s debut in Robins kevlars tonight.
The 17-year-old, highly-rated by Danish team manager Anders Secher, will race in the Elite League for the first time this evening against Peterborough, but Blunsdon boss Staechmann wants expectations of the schoolboy to stay at a modest level.
Despite this he has backed the youngster, who received a wildcard for the Danish Grand Prix in June, to handle any pressure on his shoulders.
“I think so,” said Staechmann, when asked if Jensen would take all the attention in his stride.
“Anybody who saw how he handled the Grand Prix in Copenhagen will have seen what kind of person he is. He’s very down to earth and doesn’t get fazed by a great deal.
“He’s focused and is very much looking forward to riding against his mates Hans Andersen and Michael Jepsen Jensen, but we musn’t expect too much of him early on.
“It’s easy to get thrown into the idea that whatever is done is the saviour of all things, but it’s not good to think like that.”
Jensen’s arrival at the Abbey Stadium meant the end of a brief period with the Robins for double Russian champion Sergey Darkin, who has struggled to produce consistently from the reserve berth since signing at the beginning of last month.
Staechmann added: “He was the unlucky one, but it goes without saying that we all thank him very much for his efforts.
“We need to look ahead to next year and build a team that can hopefully challenge for honours for a while. Sergey isn’t a club asset and it is best to make a team out of your own assets.”
Peterborough have undergone significant upheaval this week ahead of their visit to Wiltshire, with Hans Andersen replacing triple world champion Nicki Pedersen at number one. Pedersen has been released from his contract having stated his intention to concentrate on the Grand Prix series, so Andersen has linked up with the Panthers for a third spell.
That is a state of affairs that pleases Staechmann, the Robins boss revealing: “I’d rather face Hans.
“He’s a very good team man but he’s also very inconsistent due to his injuries this year.”
Meanwhile, Staechmann has stated his desire to track a big-hitting number one for the 2012 campaign, and says he has not ruled Scott Nicholls out as a possibility.
“Swindon have always had a strong number one who has been in the team for many years, and it would be nice to get back to that,” he said.
“Scott would be the first to admit things have not gone the way we would have liked this year.
“But the one thing you always get with him is 100 per cent and you can’t ask for much more than that.
“Everybody’s in the picture at the moment and we aren’t going to rule anybody out at this early stage.”
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