Justin Sedgmen: Winning run doesn’t add pressure

Justin Sedgmen has started his Edinburgh Monarchs career with a flourish. Pic: Ron MacNeill

Justin Sedgmen has started his Edinburgh Monarchs career with a flourish. Pic: Ron MacNeill

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Justin Sedgmen today insisted that Edinburgh Monarchs have not made a rod for their own backs by winning eight matches on the bounce in what has been a sizzling start to the 2014 speedway season for the Capital outfit.

As they prepare to open their Premier League programme against Sheffield Tigers at Armadale tonight, Sedgmen says Monarchs are not fixated about their unbeaten run – but it would be nice to keep it going.

He said: “Obviously we have got off to a great start in our League Cup matches and we are all pretty excited about the league campaign getting under way and building on what we have achieved so far.

“I think we knew we had a really good team this season and something special was capable of happening. However, I don’t think we realised we would be unbeaten in all our matches this early on.

“It’s a good feeling and our win at Workington Comets was a really big confidence booster for everyone. After that result we believed that we could win our other matches and that’s exactly what we have done.

“Eight in a row has certainly given us the incentive to keep our confidence going and we are all enjoying ourselves. I think it’s going to be pretty hard for some teams to stop us.”

Sedgmen continued: “We are not being distracted by thinking about the winning streak we are on and are taking every match pretty much as they come. Hopefully we will make it nine in a row against Sheffield, but we are under no pressure to do so. We just go into every match wanting to win it.”

The onset of the championship battle over the coming months is a beacon-like sign that the push to reach the top six to gain entry into the play-offs has begun in earnest.

Sedgmen is relaxed about Monarchs chances of a fourth title, saying: “To be honest, as a team we don’t look too closely into the meetings and their significance.

Obviously the more matches we win the more meetings we will ride in towards the end of the year if we make the play-offs and that is good from a riders’ point of view because we all want to win the league if we can.”

Sedgmen, who has formed a potent reserve partnership with Steve Worrall, is likely to move up into the main body of the team from next month and feels equipped to handle the promotion, though he does concede his form away from home could be slightly better.

“My scoring has been okay, but it has not been outstanding. I need to pick things up a bit on the road. I did a little better at Glasgow on Sunday and thought I rode quite well in that win at Workington.

“It’s all down to confidence and the amount of meetings you can do. Some guys this season are riding in the Elite League, the Premier League and the National League, which means they are doing more matches than me. I have a bit catching up to do.”

Sedgmen spent last year back in Australia after no UK club made a bid for his services, but his enforced break has not placed him at any great disadvantage. “Not at all, I just came back to my job really when Edinburgh signed me this year. Taking a year out, while it hasn’t helped tremendously, it has not been a setback either and I’m just glad to be riding over here again.”

The visit of Sheffield Tigers could present Monarchs with a tricky examination. The Yorkshire side are also through to the last four of the League Cup on the back of a remarkable 53-37 triumph at Redcar Bears.

That win was described by Tigers boss Damien Bates as “fantastic” and he added: “I was proud of the whole team and we were strong from one to seven and feel we can take anyone on now, although the way Edinburgh are going, it’s going to be difficult for us.”

The reserve scrap could be tasty, with Tigers young ace Josh Bates in great form at the moment. Bates, who was a guest rider for Monarchs in 2013, scored 13 at Redcar and also captured the British Under-21 crown at Cradley ten days ago.

Sedgmen isn’t worried, saying: “I think we will win, I’m pretty confident. Sheffield are big-track specialists and coming to Armadale doesn’t always suit them. I know Josh is going well for them, but Steve and myself will just go out and do what we normally do.”