SWINDON Robins team manager Alun Rossiter says chairman Terry Russell is the most important person at the club right now as the Wiltshire side celebrate their 70th birthday by hosting Ipswich Witches in the SGB Premiership tonight.

Long-time owner Russell has been chairman of the Robins since May 2016 and has overseen almost every eventuality at the club, including two league titles, a new track and the appointment of the current team manager, Rossiter.

Russell revealed to the Advertiser earlier this month that the Robins are set to make a loss this season, no matter how they fare in both league and cup, and Rossiter believes the unquestionable love and support that his boss pours into the club deserves all the credit he can give.

Rossiter recalled the emotional journey he has been on while at Swindon before stating that the Robins chairman is one of the most important figures in the club’s 70-year history.

Rossiter said: “We’re a club that have evolved. We’ve got the new track now, and we’ve had a road here like everybody knows for people that have been a mascot, through to a rider, to captain, to manager, to promoter.

“The club means a lot to me, but the person we’ve got to thank – otherwise this club would not exist – is Terry Russell.

“Without his input and his money, this club would be extinct.

“There have been lots of people who have been important to the club over the years, but I don’t think there’s anyone who is more important right now than Terry, to be honest.

“He’s ploughed a lot of money into the club over the years, lost a lot of money too, but he’s still here and that says a lot about him.”

On track, Swindon continue a big week of home meetings when welcoming Ipswich to the Abbey tonight before struggling Peterborough Panthers arrive on Thursday.

Rossiter’s men are currently third in a tightly-contested race for the end-of-season play-offs, three points behind both Poole Pirates and the Witches.

And after calls to secure a top-four finish appear to have subsided into hopes of finishing in the top two, Rossiter was bullish about his side’s prospects wherever they end up in the SGB Premiership table come the end of September.

He said: “We’ve just got to keep putting the pressure on. Monday will be an important one and hopefully we can get ourselves up into second place.

“Getting into the top two will be important because I don’t think whoever wins it will want to take us on.”