SWINDON Robins manager Alun Rossiter said his side “let themselves down” a little as they lost the first leg of the Elite League play-off semi-final clash with Coventry Bees 49-41 at Brandon.
Just four points behind their hosts with two heats remaining, Robins reserve Stevie Worrall clipped Dakota North in heat 14, leading to his own exclusion, while North could only finish third behind Jason Garrity and Kenneth Hansen – handing Coventry a major step up going into the final race.
When the points were shared in heat 15, Rossiter’s side knew they will have to turn around an eight-point deficit at the Abbey Stadium next week – something that disappointed their boss.
“If I’m being honest I’m a little disappointed. I thought we gave away some points but certainly the track was very tricky tonight and it was a bit ‘who dares wins’. It was a typical Coventry track and we knew it was coming,” he told Link Sport.
“It (the track) was a bit boring. I don’t think one or two of their riders were too chuffed with it either. If you rode the gate and got on the high line it was a bit boring and about who was the bravest. My riders are brave but we made a few mistakes and really it should have been closer.
“Eight points is definitely possible. I’m not disheartened but we let ourselves down a little bit, we could have done better. It could have been at least four points.”
Of Worrall’s mistake in heat 14, Rossiter said: “The trouble is some of them, because of the track, their heads weren’t in the right place tonight. We should have adapted a bit quicker really.
“It’s slightly a bit frustrating but that’s life. I’m not overly disappointed, we’ve just got to make sure we go back and win by 10 now.
“It’s a final and they’ll all be fired up but they’ll be on a track they can all race on so there should be no excuses.”
Ahead of the tie, Rosco had suggested that Simon Gustafsson would be a major player in the outcome of the result overall. His return of 7+1 seemed to prove his manager right.
Rossiter said: “The way they did the track tonight fell into his hands, really, because it’s the type of track he rides and he likes it. It swung from somebody else and gave Simon the upper hand. We’re just ready to go back to Swindon and get the points we need.”