“YOU don’t have to come top to be crowned champions.”

That was the message from Swindon Robins team manager Alun Rossiter after his side beat King’s Lynn Stars 50-40 at the Abbey Stadium last night to move into fourth place in the SGB Premiership table.

Peter Shroek’s Stars pushed the Robins much closer than in their Premiership Supporters’ Cup meeting a fortnight ago – Swindon claimed a comprehensive 58-32 victory that night – and were trailing the home side by just four points as late as heat 11.

But some timely heat advantages from Rossiter’s men late on pushed the overall score beyond the Stars’ reach and lifted Swindon up into the play-off places, having now raced half of their league fixtures.

Reacting to a positive night for his team and an encouraging one for new recruit Claus Vissing, Rossiter said: “The boys did a great job, a fantastic job.

“As I said before, I don’t think the score did King’s Lynn justice last time, but we knew it was going to be harder tonight, and so it proved.

“It was a good, solid, all-around performance.

“I thought everybody gave it 110 per cent. I thought Claus deserved more, but it was his first match around here, so everything was fairly new to him.

“I thought he showed good signs. He changed his gearing and few other things, so hopefully come next time, he’ll be a bit more dialled in.

“We need somebody who will get stuck in and that’s what we’ve kind of been lacking. So fingers crossed, things will improve for him.”

Swindon kicked off a run of four consecutive home fixtures with a victory on Thursday night as they look to reel in the three teams above them and put fresh air between the trio of sides below.

Rossiter admitted he has been working overtime in recent weeks to put a healthy team together and now that he has, the Robins boss believes his riders have the potential to pull off something special in the second half of the season.

He said: “It’s very difficult to assess where we are because we’ve not had a fit team on track nearly all season.

“We’ve been chopping and changing all year, and that’s been quite hard work for me.

“But that’s part of the job. I’ve got to get on and deal with it.

“We needed this run at home that we’ve started now. A lot of teams have done lots of home meetings and we’ve done a lot of away meetings.

“But I don’t read too much into the table, we’re halfway through and we’re still in contention.

“It’s not about winning it outright, as we’ve proven before. You don’t have to come top to win the league.”