CHIPPING away at the six-point play-off frame deficit that separates Swindon Robins from the SGB Premiership top four has been set as the club’s primary focus by team manager Alun Rossiter, following tonight's 49-40 defeat to King’s Lynn Stars in Norfolk.

It proved a frustrating night for Rossiter’s outfit at the Adrian Flux Arena. New recruit Stefan Nielsen was forced to withdraw from the meeting before he completed a lap after spectacularly crashing into the turn four safety fence when colliding with teammate Ellis Perks in heat two.

That incident set the tone for the first half of Swindon’s night, as Stars opened up a 15-point advantage with only six heats completed.

Determined to avoid further embarrassment, the Robins pulled together after a momentary delay for a low sun to lose by nine points.

While the play-off frame deficit failed to shift – due to Peterborough’s home loss to Ipswich – Rossiter stated denying opposing teams consolation points at home will play a crucial part in deciding if his book their spot in the top four by the end of the regular season.

He said: “We can’t allow these defeats to happen, we need to start picking up points.

“We should’ve got something from the meeting. We should be winning at home on Thursday.

“But we’ve got to start making sure we deny opposition teams any consolation points. We’re in a position where we need to stop opponents edging away because of those points here and there.”

Sluggish starts from Doyle, Bellego, Jensen and Perks – which saw the quartet earn six points from their opening eight rides combined – hurt Swindon’s total points tally last night.

And while disappointed, Rossiter held no grudges with his riders - and instead pointed the team’s focus towards Thursday’s meeting at the Abbey against Ipswich.

“From heat seven tells the story, we lost the meeting in the opening six races – it’s as simple as that,” added Rossiter.

“Jason (Doyle) lost two steal shoes, it was just one of those nights. The first six heats cost us – after that we were in the meeting.

“We pulled the team together and said ‘we’ve got to make a show of this’, it was quite embarrassing. But they responded.

“Doyley had one of those nights, but you can’t criticise him because he scored 15 last week – and I’m sure he’ll come back stronger.

“Stefan (Nielsen) has twisted his knee and got a big graze on the back of his thigh.

“We’ll have to wait and see on him for Thursday against Ipswich.”