Troy will be looking for a Batch of points
TROY Batchelor has pledged to overcome a bout of ill health and bike trouble to roar back to his best during a crunch spell for Panthers.
The Australian star has been struggling to fight off the flu which he insists was responsible for poor performances either side of the weekend.
Batchelor hit the deck twice when only managing one point as the city side were thumped 58-37 at Lakeside last Friday and was then withdrawn towards the end of their East Anglian derby triumph over Ipswich at the Showground on Bank Holiday Monday.
But a high-scoring return to form in Sweden on Tuesday - when he hit 11+1 for reigning Elisterien champions Lejonen - was the perfect tonic for Batchelor ahead of his return to Peterborough duty.
And the 22 year-old is determined to shine back on these shores tonight when Panthers have the chance to exact a quick slice of revenge over second-placed Lakeside. They then go to third-placed Wolverhampton on Monday.
Batchelor said: “I got sick on Friday and had a real bad night at Lakeside.
“I’ve had a chest infection and a bit of flu, and I certainly didn’t feel up to riding on Friday or Monday. In hindsight it might have been better for both myself and the club if I hadn’t, but you can’t be going and crying off.
“I’m sure I would have got the blame had we lost to Ipswich on Monday, but the other boys stepped up after I had to withdraw, in particular Mat Tresarrieu.
“We are so busy that we don’t have time to get over any sort of illness and I haven’t been helped by having a few engine problems as well.
“But I’m feeling better each day and I’m borrowing an engine from Michael Lee tonight which will hopefully help me get plenty of points.
“We need to get one back on Lake- side and pull back some points on them in the table before trying to get something on the road at Wolverhampton.”
Batchelor, who will line up in the first round of GP qualifiers next weekend, launched his Panthers career in fine style after a high-profile winter transfer from Swindon but after his last two outings he is now running at an average of 6.58 - almost half-a-point down on his starting figure.
Now he hopes to transfer his fine continental form to England. He added: “It has been awesome for me abroad this year. Things have gone really well in Sweden and Poland which are the two hardest leagues in the world.
“But I’ve had a couple of blips over here after starting really well so I need to get back on it.”
Team manager Trevor Swales certainly expects Batchelor to be back to his best tonight.
He said: “There is no doubt Troy has been under the weather and he was having difficulty breathing at one point on Monday.
“The doctor took the decision to withdraw him but his score in Sweden on Tuesday suggests he is getting over the virus so I’m expecting good things from him again.”
Lakeside will field an identical side to last Friday with King’s Lynn ace Kevin Doolan again drafted in as a guest for reserve injury victim Paul Hurry.