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Ward KO makes no difference to Rosco
SWINDON boss Alun Rossiter has warned everyone associated with the Robins to think again if they believe Darcy Ward’s absence will all-but hand his side the Elite League title.
The Australian sensation will not ride in tonight’s rearranged grand final second leg after he was hospitalised following an attack in the Dorset village of Sturminster Marshall in the early hours of Saturday morning. The new Grand Prix star suffered head injuries and underwent a brain scan in hospital following the attack, and will be replaced by King’s Lynn number one Niels-Kristian Iversen for tonight’s deciding second leg.
While the Pirates will be without their most entertaining rider for such a vital meeting, Robins boss Rossiter has rejected the notion that it makes his side’s task easier as they bid to claim their first top-flight title for 45 years.
“If anyone thinks it makes things easier then you have to think again, because Niels-Kristian Iversen is a superb rider and has had the best season of his life,” he said.
“Now he has the opportunity to come in and take part in the final, so none of my riders or the fans can think that it is ours.
“Niel-Kristian is a class act, and he has proved it this year, but we can’t take our fingers off the pulse because that would probably be the biggest mistake we could ever make.
“It could actually encourage them even more to try and do it for Darcy, so we need to be wary of that.
“Sometimes things like this have a bit of reverse psychology, so it will still be just as tough as when Darcy was there, and that is the attitude we will have.”
Rossiter knows Ward well due to his friendship with Robins rider Nick Morris, who lives with the Swindon boss, and was deeply saddened to hear of his injuries.
“With Nick living with me I see quite a bit of Darcy because they are good friends, and we are all very upset about it,” he said.
“At the end of the day, first and foremost, it is about making sure he is okay.
“As much as I want to win the title, it is so sad the poor kid has ended up in hospital because that is not right at all.
“It is not for me to give out information about what has gone on, but I just hope he gets well soon because he is such a massive talent and a nice lad.
“Someone’s health is more important than speedway at the end of the day, but we have all come this far and as horrible as it may sound, the show must go on.”