IF we rushed things and Thursday night went wrong, it would have killed our business.

Those are the strong words of Swindon Robins team manager Alun Rossiter, who has slammed fans’ negative comments after Thursday’s SGB Premiership opener against Belle Vue Aces was postponed.

The club confirmed on Monday evening that the meeting will be re-arranged for a future date.

That decision was made to ensure the new track that is currently being developed at the Abbey will be in a raceable state for Poole Pirates’ visit to Wiltshire on May 18 – which has been confirmed as the revised grand opening date.

While a proportion of supporters voiced their understanding of the decision, some suggested it was another nail in speedway’s coffin.

But Rossiter vowed the club is not prepared to suffer embarrassment similar to what the Belle Vue management had to deal with several years ago following their delayed opening of the National Speedway Stadium in Manchester.

“With speedway, you’re damned if you do, and you’re damned if you don’t,” said Rossiter.

“People wonder why clubs don’t get major sponsors in place, and it’s because of the negativity that surrounds the sport – it’s quite sad.

“We’re not prepared to put on a show where everything won’t be right.

“A lot of hard work has gone into freshening up the pits so when the riders turn up things will be right. We want the centre green looking perfect and all the rubble to be gone.

“We’re not rushing into things, because we know what has happened to other teams before.”

The club had to wait for the green light from Swindon Borough Council before work on the new track could start.

That was only received on the week beginning March 11, and work promptly started on March 17, to put everything in place ahead of the 2019 season.

In the three weeks since, a new track shape has been installed along with the retaining wall, the start-finish line has been moved backwards alongside the referee’s box, and work has been completed to freshen up the look of the pits.

Rossiter added: “As we’ve always stated, we wanted to start work on the track earlier. But we can only do what our landlords tell us.

“Considering the time we’ve had, I think we’ve done a remarkable job. We’ve had some great weather, but the last week has been a bit iffy.

“If it hadn’t had been for that, I think we would’ve been there.

“Knowing Terry (Russell, club chairman) as I do, he will want everything to be right.

“From the grass in the middle, to the white lines and the track – he will want it to be right.

“We’re not a million miles away, and the job that has been done so far has been unbelievable.

“We’re not prepared to put our business on the line for the sake of another week. We’re not far away from agreeing to a new date with Belle Vue.”

The club’s proposed behind-closed-doors practice session this week has been cancelled, but Rossiter hopes to grant his team some track time before next Thursday’s visit of Poole.

This week’s postponement means the Robins’ season will now start on Monday away at Wolverhampton Wolves.