Un­happy Panthers chief could make some big changes

Speed­way - Panthers at home on Fri­day and Sun­day

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - By Mark Plum­mer SPEED­WAY COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Pro­moter Ged Rath­bone has dropped a hint that he could be pre­pared to rip up his mis­fir­ing Panthers team ahead of the sport’s sign­ing dead­line.

Fans have called for changes in the wake of a 59-34 drub­bing at New­cas­tle last Sun­day night which left the city out­fit look­ing over their shoul­ders in the race to se­cure a Premier League play-off spot.

Rath­bone is quick to ad­mit he un­der­stands the frus­tra­tions of sup­port­ers ahead of a run of four suc­ces­sive home meet­ings in the next 10 days which are likely to make or break the 2016 cam­paign.

There will cer­tainly be no changes in per­son­nel ahead of the first of those fix­tures - a re­turn clash against play-off ri­vals New­cas­tle to­mor­row night (Fri­day, 7.30pm) at the East of Eng­land Show­ground.

That is fol­lowed by a Bank Hol­i­day Mon­day visit from strug­gling Red car (7 pm) ahead of a Septem­ber 4 dou­ble-header which fea­tures clashes against Rye House and Work­ing­ton.

Their other re­main­ing fix- ture in the reg­u­lar sea­son - a re­cently post­poned away trip to Ed­in­burgh - is still to be resched­uled.

Rath­bone said: “I to­tally un­der­stand where the fans are com­ing from and we are well aware that cer­tain rid­ers have not been pro­duc­ing what we ex­pect of them.

“I’m cer­tainly not rul­ing out mak­ing changes, but I def­i­nitely will not be rush­ing into them.

“We could make any­thing from one to four changes to the team be­fore the dead­line if we de­cide that is the way for­ward.

“I have never let the sup­port­ers down since tak­ing the club on in the win­ter of 2014, and I won’t let them down now.

“But they have to trust my­self and my man­age­ment team to make the right moves at the right time.

“This is not the Football Man­ager com­puter game where you sign a player and he is in your team a cou­ple of min­utes later. It works a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ently in real life.”

One po­ten­tial tar­get that Panthers have been forced to rule out of their plans is Nicolai Klindt.

The Dan­ish rider, who had a brief spell with the club in their fi­nal Elite League cam­paign in 2013, is avail­able on a bar­gain 5.42 av­er­age.

Klindt was said to be keen on a move, but Rath­bone re­vealed it is a no-go due to his top-flight side, Le­ices­ter, al­ready hav­ing the max­i­mum two per­mit­ted dou­bling-up rid­ers in ad­di­tion to their Elite Draft Rid­ers.

Rath­bone added: “Nicolai made it clear that he was ex­tremely keen to join us and he was dev­as­tated when I in­formed him it wasn’ t pos­si­ble.

“Un­for­tu­nately Le­ices­ter al­ready have Lud­vig Lind­gren and Aaron Sum­mers dou­bling-up in the Premier League, and the rules don’t per­mit a third rider to do it.

“Nicolai does also have com­mit­ment sin Poland which may well have posed an­other prob­lem with our week­end fix­tures .”

Ul­rich Oster­gaard is con­fi­dent Panthers can make the play-offs.

Ged Rath­bone.

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