Jon Armstrong is backing his teammates to do the business without him on Sunday in the first leg of their National League play-off semi-final.
Thirty-nine-year-old Armstrong firmly believes that the Mildenhall Fen Tigers can chalk up a big win in his absence against the King’s Lynn Young Stars to set themselves up for the return leg at Saddlebow Road on Wednesday.
Armstrong has been forced out of action for both legs, and for the rest of the season, after fracturing his C8 vertebrae, during the Fen Tigers’ 50-40 over the Isle of Wight Islanders in the opening leg of their National League Knockout Cup semi-final at the weekend.
“I would like to think that the boys can win by between 10 and 15 points on Sunday as the bigger the lead we can take to King’s Lynn the easier it will make the second leg,” said Armstrong.
“Having said that if the scores are tight going into the second leg I still can’t see no reason why we can’t go through as they all ride Lynn’s track well.”
With Armstrong sitting on a 7.65 average it means the management team will be able to call upon all six remaining riders to cover for him under the rider replacement rule, which will be utilised to cover his absence.
“My average allows Stefan (Nielsen), Josh (Bates) and Danny (Halsey) all to pick up spare ride each which is good for the team as they are all riding well,” said Armstrong. “Although it will put that bit extra pressure on them they should be more than capable of covering for me.”
With both Aaron Baseby and reserve Liam Rumsey struggling in recent meetings Armstrong has made it clear that it is vital that they put behind them their recent form figures and focus on the task ahead.
“What both Aaron and Liam need is good first rides, something which they haven’t got lately,” said Arsmtrong.
“It is not easy to get out of rut as I have been in that position myself, but if they can get that good first ride under their belts it will set them up for the meeting.
“Their points can make a massive difference as it could determine how close the meeting ends up.”
Mildenhall will make one change from the team that won against the Isle of Wight on Sunday with Connor Mountain coming in to replace Danny Phillips at reserve. Tapes go up at 4.45pm.
For more speedway, turn to Page 91