We owe our fans a good performance, says Plymouth Devils team boss Lee Trigger
CITY speedway team Plymouth Devils owe their fans a good send-off against Newcastle at the St Boniface Arena tonight, according to team boss Lee Trigger.
Devils face Diamonds in the season's final Premier League fixture of the season (7.15pm) and Trigger is determined to see out the 2013 campaign with some flair.
His determination has been reinforced by Devils' poor show at Glasgow, the Premier League's basement team, on Sunday.
Team members have been told in no uncertain terms that they are riding for their futures tonight.
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Devils were hammered 62-31 and Trigger said: "I didn't expect to get too much at Glasgow because we were going there with a weak team.
"But to lose to the bottom team by 31 points was embarrassing – that's the only word for it. We are the only team they have beaten by more than six points this season.
"I think tonight we have to have a bit of pride and show our supporters what we can do on our own track.
"It's the last opportunity the riders have got this year and what I'm telling them is that if they all want a job next season, then they need to put in a performance.
"I want to win against Newcastle tonight as much as I have wanted to win any meeting this season.
"Newcastle are going to put in a bit of a performance – they have a strong side.
"But I think after Glasgow our riders owe the fans a performance to send them off at the end of the season with a win."
Trigger's message has also been delivered by Plymouth co-promoter Ashley Taylor.
Taylor, one of the club's new management, who took over in the off season, said: "Newcastle have just won the League Cup and are also play-off contenders, so we know they are a side with strength in depth.
"Although the season may be drawing to a close, it will be up to our riders to prove themselves by putting up a good enough performance to take all three points."
Taylor stressed that team places for next season are at stake, and added: "All riders are in the shop window. It is a case of showcasing their talent and ability.
"As promoters, we will be taking note of what we see."
Devils will be heavily reinforced tonight by top Danish riders Mikkel Bech and Rasmus Jensen, neither being available for the Glasgow debacle.
Another Dane, Simon Nielsen, steps in as a guest for Plymouth, who he left recently.
Nielsen, who was released by the city club, was suffering from a shoulder problem which had recovered enough for him to turn out in last Friday's Colin Hill Memorial.
The Dane, highly-rated by Trigger, steps in as guest for Hynek Stichauer, who also left the Devils because of injury.
Tonight's match will be Plymouth's first home league meeting for more than a month.
Their last league meeting saw them defeat second-bottom Sheffield 51-42.
Devils originally were scheduled to meet the Diamonds at the St Boniface in September, but the meeting was rained off and postponed until tonight.
Newcastle are headed by Richie Worrall, who guested for Plymouth against Sheffield.
His main support will come from Swedish pair Ludvig Lindgren and Anton Rosen, along with former Edinburgh rider Andrew Tully.
Newcastle will operate rider replacement for the injured Stuart Robson and at reserve they have former Devil Chris Schramm and a possible trump card in Lewis Kerr, a 23-year-old from King's Lynn.
Kerr has been in good form recently and has already shown his liking for the Plymouth track by scoring nine points when Newcastle beat the Devils by two points in a Knock-Out Cup clash at the St Boniface Arena at the start of the season.
Devils: Mikkel Bech, Todd Kurtz, Rasmus Jensen, Michael Palm Toft, Mark Lemon. Reserves: Simon Nielsen, Jake Anderson.
Newcastle: Richie Worrall, rider replacement for Stuart Robson, Andrew Tully, Ludvig Lindgren, Anton Rosen. Reserves: Chris Schramm, Lewis Kerr.