ALUN Rossiter has brushed off Jason Doyle’s criticism of Great Britain’s automatic qualification for the Speedway World Cup final as ‘mind games’.

The battle to become champions of the world has pitted club mates against each other and, speaking to the Advertiser, Swindon Robins captain and Australia star Doyle branded Great Britain, who are managed by Robins chief Rossiter, as ”very weak” and advocated a change to the rules handing host nations automatic final berths.

After finishing second in their semi-final event in Sweden on Tuesday, the Aussies’ hopes of qualifying for Saturday’s final rest on a winner-takes-all race-off against Denmark, Russia and the United States at Belle Vue’s National Stadium tonight (7pm start) and GB boss Rossiter believes that pre-race nerves were behind Doyle’s criticism of his team.

“There hasn’t been a build-up for us because we’re the host nation, so we’ve qualified straight for the final,” Rossiter told the Advertiser.

“Other nations have had that privilege in the past and it’s something that we’ve not had for 10 years. I’m not disappointed and I don’t feel lucky at all.

“I read what Jason had to say in the Advertiser today and I know that he’s confident in his own ability but I think that his team are feeling the pressure a little bit – I’ll show it my riders later on and it will just rev them up.

“They didn’t manage to qualify in Sweden and maybe they feel a little bit hard done by because they’re in a tough race-off.

“Don’t get me wrong; they’re a very good side but I just think this is a bit of mind games from Jason because there’s pressure on the Aussies.

“He’s not my captain this week, so it’s fine for me to have my say. Jason’s a class act and I’d have him right up there with Tai Woffinden.

“I think there are a lot weaker teams than us that have gone straight to the final in the past and I think my riders stand up for themselves.

“Tai is the world champion and Danny King showed what he can do at Cardiff (a 10th-placed finish at this month’s Grand Prix, whilst riding as a wild card).

“Robert Lambert showed last year that he wasn’t fazed by it, and I think the only one you could argue hasn’t quite proved themselves yet is Craig Cook but he’ll be on his home track.”