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Bees needing to ease the pressure; SPEEDWAY: Team are hoping their first visit of the season to Ispwich will bring a change of luck.

Byline: By David Rowe

UNDER-PRESSURE Bees make their first visit of the season to Ipswich tonight as their troubled Elite League campaign approaches its halfway stage.

Foxhall has been a happy hunting ground in recent years, Coventry having won their last three away matches there, although the Witches are a stronger team in 2008.

However, the Buildbase Bees may have an opportunity this evening following Monday's disastrous closing stages at Belle Vue, as Ipswich have problems of their own to contend with.

And manager Peter Oakes has issued a stark message concerning their current situation, which seems likely to lead to team changes being considered when the option becomes available on August 1.

Oakes said: "We can't ignore our current position in the Elite League - we are bottom, and unless we turn things around pretty quickly we have to face the fact that we could be involved in a real relegation battle.

"Monday's result capped an awful week, it was one of the most disappointing results I have known."

Ipswich surged to the top of the table with a remarkable run of form back in May, but have also been hampered by a lack of recent racing activity and are therefore outside the top four but with matches in hand.

Amazingly, the Witches raced five matches in eight days (winning them all) before May 22, but have since raced just three times in seven weeks!

They will use rider-replacement for long-term injury victim Chris Louis, while Robert Miskowiak should ride but has been having treatment after crashing in Sweden on Tuesday.

Bees should have Olly Allen back in the team tonight, although his newly-issued average of 6.88 reduces their rider-replacement options for the injured Billy Janniro compared to the match at Belle Vue.

Janniro's outings can now be covered by Allen, Rory Schlein and the two reserves - and how they adapt to the Foxhall circuit is likely to be a crucial factor in tonight's meeting.

IPSWICH WITCHES v BUILDBASE BEES

Foxhall 7.30pm

Piotr Swiderski 1 Chris Harris

Chris Louis R/R 2 Olly Allen

Jarek Hampel 3 Simon Stead

Steve Johnston 4 Billy Janniro R/R

Robert Miskowiak 5 Rory Schlein

Tobias Kroner 6 Stan Burza

Chris Schramm 7 Andreas Messing

LAST TIME OUT

BEES won on both of their visits to Foxhall in the Elite League last season, the second of which was by a comfortable 52-41 margin in September. Chris Harris (13+1) and Rory Schlein (13) both showed good form against an Ipswich side heavily reliant on Chris Louis.

VIEWPOINT

BEES have bemoaned their own consistency this season but Ipswich are also a team who have blown very hot and very cold so far. Coventry's top three all go well at Foxhall - so if they get into a winning position, have they the fortitude to hold it until the end?

CAPTION(S):

BIG FACTOR ... The prerformance from Rory Schlein (left) will be critical to the Bees' chances tonight
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 10, 2008
Words:493
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