When news happens send us your pictures, video and views. Text BE to 80360 or contact us by email
Pirates: Ford tells trio to deliver ... or else
MATT Ford has sounded out a warning to Pirates’ misfiring back-up boys by telling them: “You need to start delivering.”
Ford was speaking after Poole’s lower order mustered just six points between them during the first leg of the Elite League grand final at Swindon on Monday.
Their paltry return contributed to a 51-44 defeat at Blunsdon, a deficit Pirates will tonight need to claw back at Wimborne Road if they are to retain the title.
Ford’s response was to wield the axe with Sam Masters – who picked up paid four points from seven rides – replaced at reserve by Ludvig Lindgren for the second leg.
The Coastal Aluminium Pirates promoter told the Daily Echo: “To win a match, we need everyone scoring. Barring misfortune, I know what we are going to get from the top three and the other three have to play their part.
“When these guys join Poole, they know what is expected of them. They know there is going to be pressure and now is the time to respond.
“I have spoken with Ludvig and he is under no illusions how important this meeting is to us. The bottom three have got to dig deep and we need them to chip in with a minimum of 12 points from 15 rides.
“Chris, Darcy and Krzysztof cannot be expected to try to claw back this deficit between them. If we are going to achieve anything, it is going to take a team effort. They all have to perform, not just the top three.”
Ford, who saw Pirates overturn an eight-point deficit to win the title against Eastbourne 12 months ago, says his three foot soldiers could also stake claims to ride for the club next season.
“They can make my life a lot simpler if the crowd believes in them,” said Ford. “If they can’t do it when it comes to the crunch, then that would tell me something about their character.
“I don’t want to be seen to be having a go at riders and would never want to put them under any undue pressure. But it is pointless being in this sport if you can’t perform at the top end.
“I haven’t got on Ricky’s back all year. He has had moments of brilliance but, much of the time, he has struggled to find the form he should be achieving. He has been a little unlucky though.
“There is pressure on me to make sure supporters and sponsors are happy and I have got to pass on that pressure to the other guys.
“In all honesty, it just isn’t fair that the responsibility to try to bring home the silverware should fall on the shoulders of Chris, Darcy and Krzysztof. Without back up, they are going to win nothing.”