Trigger insists Devils can avoid the wooden spoon
PLYMOUTH Devils' team manager Lee Trigger is refusing to blame his riders for the city side's dead last position in the Premier League.
Trigger reckons the city speedway side can still scrape themselves off the bottom of the Premier League.
Devils, who finished second-bottom last year, are four points adrift of the team immediately above them, Rye House.
Plymouth have two home matches to save themselves from the ignominy of the wooden spoon.
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One of them is against third-bottom Berwick this Friday (7.30pm), but the other sees Devils face up to high-flying Newcastle, who are second at present.
Devils were heavily defeated at Workington and Newcastle over the weekend to end their hopes of winning at least one away Premier meeting this season, which has never happened since the city club was resurrected six years ago.
Devils went down 65-29 at Workington on Saturday, then 64-30 at Newcastle the following day.
The maximum number of points Devils can gain from their last two matches is six – but Trigger reckons the team is capable of doing that.
Devils were hamstrung by a wrist injury to their number one rider, Ben Barker, soon after Saturday's meeting at Workington started.
Barker is said to have badly sprained one of his hands and is receiving physiotherapy and laser treatment to get him fit quickly.
Barker also rides for Elite outfit Birmingham, who have a meeting on Thursday.
Should he make that, Barker will probably be fit enough to turn out for the Devils in their penultimate Premier meeting.
Trigger said: "Ben's undergoing three days of treatment in Birmingham and there's no sign of a break, so hopefully he should be fit for Friday.
"He wanted to carry on after his accident, but he could have really made things a lot worse if he'd come off again."
Trigger added: "I want to thank the riders, because they've never given me less than 100 per cent this season.
"We lost away matches because we weren't strong enough and that's not the fault of the riders."
Devils have had a difficult season, one problem being caused by riders' pay cuts to keep the club afloat financially.
The situation caused a contract dispute with Danish reserve Nicki Glanz, who is not coming back to the club this season.
Trigger said: "The other riders could have walked away like NickI, but I asked them to stay and they have done.
"I've had a really good relationship with the riders this season and they've never done less than their best.
"We had two really tough meetings over the weekend, but whether we finish bottom or not is still in our own hands, so there's hope.
"I've figured out that there are basically two ways to do it.
"The first is that we need to get six points from our last two meetings.
"Then we beat Berwick by 13 points and Newcastle by 10 points.
"Or, if Rye House lose their last home meeting against Edinburgh, we need to win by more than seven against Berwick and just win against Newcastle.
"I think we can do it – getting the 23 points we need in two meetings is not massive, although obviously it's going to be difficult."