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Rosco wants to take care of business with Poole party
SWINDON boss Alun Rossiter has dismissed claims that tonight’s regular season-ending Elite League meeting with Lakeside lacks importance and says the battle at the Abbey Stadium will play a vital role in the club’s future financial security.
The Robins meet Lakeside knowing that a loss by six points or less, a draw or a win will go a long way towards setting up a play-off semi-final tie against arch-rivals Poole.
With table-toppers Birmingham understandably keen on a last-four clash with neighbours Wolverhampton due to the healthy financial implications of a derby for both clubs, Swindon would be left with a mouthwatering head-to-head with the Pirates, provided the Robins can avoid a heavy defeat against Lakeside this evening.
Much like a potential Birmingham-Wolverhampton semi, Swindon-Poole would generate plenty of interest and with the Robins’ future only recently having been secured thanks to sponsors Excalibur and Pebley Beach, the monetary injection provided by that fixture’s gate receipts would be hugely welcome.
The most likely alternative is a semi with Lakeside and while Rossiter says he is “comfortable with whoever we get”, he admits he favours a last-four clash with the Pirates.
“I disagree that the meeting on Thursday doesn’t mean much to us,” said Rossiter.
“I need to put my business hat on now, because two weeks ago Poole came to town and we had our biggest crowd of the season.
“It’s in our hands who we meet in the play-offs and realistically from a business point of view I would love to face Poole which is our local derby.
“We’ve got to look for what’s going to come through the gate in the semi-finals and I’m looking for a bumper crowd.
“It’s the same principle as Swindon Town wanted Chelsea or Manchester United in the cup, although in speedway I still think Swindon are as big as anybody.
“I know that if we got Poole, there would be a fantastic atmosphere.”
In the meantime, Rossiter has urged fans to turn out in force tonight to watch Swindon attempt to end Lakeside’s play-off dream, following the postponement of Monday’s meeting between the sides.
The team manager says it would be fitting if fans were to turn out to show their support for sponsors Excalibur and Pebley Beach following recent events.
“We’re a club that has been struggling and if it wasn’t for the sponsors we wouldn’t be in this position,” said Rossiter.
“We want the fans to come along and say thank you to the sponsors for helping us out.
“We’re not out of the woods yet and we need as much support as we can, so a good crowd would be fantastic and would go a long way to sorting things out.”
Rossiter knows that Lakeside will be fired up to secure a big win at Blunsdon this evening and says it is vital that his riders are aware of the challenge ahead.
“We’ve got to be on top of our game because Lakeside will be up for it. If they win they get in the play-offs so they have got everything to go for,” said Rossiter.
“It’s not a foregone conclusion by any means although of course I hope that we win, you can’t take anything for granted. I can assure everyone that we’ll be going for it.”
Swindon will use the rider replacement facility for Nick Morris tonight who is riding in the Premier League, while Kyle Howarth comes back in.
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