Soundbites: 4th September 2004
"James is still suffering from headaches and he has injuries to his back, neck and elbows.
We've given him every chance but there is no way he's fit to ride and it's a massive blow to
us. We need four points from this weekend's three matches, and we need to beat Wokington Comets
at home on the 12th, to have any chance of making the play-offs."
"I don't think too many people would have expected us to gain the victory in the manner
with such little fuss.
It was another good meeting in front of the Sky cameras and I'm sure that people
watching around the country will have been impressed with our performance, particularly our
two reserves who could prove key personnel for us in the next month as we try and
accomplish the play-off place and reach the final of the knockout cup."
"I haven't given racing much thought because my whole body has been aching from food poisoning.
However, on the bright side, my shoulder does appear to be getting better and I expect to be
back riding again.
When I rode at Somerset I had a feeling I wouldn't be able to cope at Sheffield the next day.
But I couldn't really pull out having done reasonably well at Somerset."
"Obviously the emphasis is now on next season and we need to have a look at as many potential
reserves as possible.
Adrian Rymel rode pretty well for us at Ipswich last week and we have seen what he is about
in a few guest appearances this season.
Now it is Adam Pietraszko's chance to prove how good he is. He certainly has the speed which
is the big factor around the Showground but the suspicion is he isn't quite as comfortable
on the smaller tracks."
"Actually, I'm quite amiable, although some reckon I'm a real bastard, but I'm not bothered
what people think. When I'm out trials biking, I'm the life and soul of the party.
But when I'm running the job, I'm from an old-fashioned background.
If a job's worth doing it's worth doing well or not at all. I don't suffer fools gladly."
"To say I was surprised is putting it mildly, and it was a marvellous gesture by these people.
After the criticism I get from some quarters it's great to see that not everyone thinks
I'm bad, and that my efforts are appreciated in some parts."
"I just can't wait for tonight. I'm really looking forward to it,
I am grateful to Reading for giving me my chance. I'll be doing my best to score a few points."
"The results certainly went our way over the Bank Holiday weekend, as we beat Glasgow while
Newport lost at home to Sheffield. It means two home victories for us should be enough to
avoid any woodwork and Glasgow could also do us a favour on their trip to Newport this Sunday."
"Friday's crowd for the visit of Workington was okay, although I had expected better. Despite
our dreadful away performances, we are still very good at home - yet we don't get the crowds
we deserve in my opinion.
I honestly wouldn't know how closely the majority of our own public follows what goes on.
I think the majority who attend on a Friday simply want to be entertained on that day. If we
are beaten at Sheffield - as we were last week - the night before, it doesn't affect their
A large number of people are only concerned about what goes on on a Friday night."
"There's no getting away from it - it's going to be an uphill struggle to reach the play-offs
now. It's never over until the fat lady sings, but I really thought we would get the right
result at Coventry on Monday night.
It wasn't to be, and we're now really looking for another away win from somewhere."
"I was gobsmacked when I read the Elite League were interested.
I've had no approach whatsoever on the matter.
I'd be happy to talk to them, although I can't see us moving up next season.
To be frank, there's more chance of us running a second team in the Conference Trophy
next year than an EL side."
"To lose a chance of the bonus point was frustrating.
I never expected to be anywhere near it, but to get that close and not get it was annoying. You might as well miss by a mile than an inch."
"We have won the league and now we must win the play-offs. We are also in the Knockout
Cup semi-finals, so it has not been a bad year for the Pirates crew so far.
There is a small reward for finishing top of the Elite League, a five-figure sum the amount
of which I cannot disclose.
We are really looking forward to receiving that but now the serious business comes when
the title play-offs start."
"It was a terrific meeting full of good racing from two very committed teams.
Oxford came here expecting to win and started off like a train.
For them to go eight points up by the halfway stage and still lose is a testament to how
hard our lads rode over the second part of the meeting."
"His accident was so serious, that the meeting was delayed to enable him to be airlifted
to hospital. Burrows will be out of racing for at least a month and that leaves me
with major team problems."
"I knew it would be harder than the league match but I thought we would have run them a lot
closer than we did. We're not out of it but 18 points will be hard to peg back and we need
everyone firing on all cylinders in the return."
"Oxford are the only team capable of stopping us winning the league and they will be a
formidable hurdle over two legs.
I rate them very highly and I believe the meeting will be one of the most fiercely-contested
to be held at West Row this season.
Oxford have put forward their strongest team and we have countered with what I feel is one
that is as good, if not better."
This article was first published on 4th September 2004
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