Patience is nearly at breaking point for under-achieving side

Timo Lahti
Timo Lahti

Patience has reached almost breaking point with two of the under-performing Eastbourne Eagles after another shocking away performance.

Team manager Trevor Geer could not conceal his anger on Tuesday after the 56-38 defeat at Poole in which Simon Gustafsson and Timo Lahti did not beat an opponent.

Both were told their places were in jeopardy with the club seeking to make changes at this late stage of the season.

Geer pointed out that half a dozen points from both might have tipped the balance.

Tonight (Friday) Eastbourne go to Lakeside with a full team, bar Lukas Dryml whose shoulder injury just will not heal. Tomorrow (Saturday) when Lakeside are the visitors it is a different story. Obviously Dryml is still missing along with new sensation Mikkel Michelson and captain Cameron Woodward.

Michelson is in the Under 21 final (round two) at Berwick and Woodward competes in the latest round of the long track GP series.

Geer brings in Richie Worrall and Stuart Robson as replacements and will use rider replacement to cover Woodward’s rides.

They are two good choices of guests – Worrall is one of the fast-rising stars of British speedway while Robson may be longer in the tooth but certainly knows his way round Arlington.

However, the form of Gustafsson and Lahti will be key to the Eagles’ fortunes. On song, they are very capable riders but their performance at Poole on Monday left many fans deeply disillusioned.

It remains to be seen what can be done at this stage of the season but one idea finding favour with some fans is to ditch the two Scandinavians and bring in replacements with an eye to the future.

It has been a difficult season for Eastbourne with the team mis-firing, especially away from home for most of the year. They have not won away from home and Lakeside is their final chance of altering that poor record.

The Essex club are now desperate for points to make the play-offs as they are increasingly involved in a hard fight with Poole for the final place. It won’t be easy this weekend of the Eagles, that’s for sure.

Pictured: the under-fire Eastbourne rider Timo Lahti. Picture: Mike Hinves/www.speedwayprint.co.uk