Speedway: Campbell adamant Monarchs have no plans to axe Wright

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Edinburgh Monarchs’ co-promoter John Campbell today rubbished claims that the Capital speedway club are about to part company with reserve star Charles Wright.

The 24-year-old Englishman was signed this season to beef up the tail-end alongside new Australian arrival Micky Dyer, but Wright has been struggling to make an impression in the scoring stakes of late and this has sparked rumours that the axe is set to fall when the new set of green sheet averages are released early next week.

Campbell defended his rider, saying: “Charles probably would have been our top scorer if last night’s match had gone ahead and I also think he will be our top scorer at Glasgow Tigers tomorrow afternoon. We are not looking to replace him.”

Campbell however did admit that Wright needs to find some self-belief to help him hit the scores which are expected of him at reserve.

“Charles needs to be a lot more confident about his ability,” said Campbell. “I have said this from day one and that’s what we have tried to fill his head with and it can be a challenging process to do that. He is a vital man for us, we don’t have any plans to let him go.”

Meanwhile, the Capitals’ chief also revealed that former Monarch Kalle Katajisto, who was frozen out of the side this year, will not be joining Redcar Bears despite reports that the Finn was heading for Teeside.

Campbell said: “Redcar asked about Kalle this week but I know he is not joining Redcar because I know who they have actually signed. I gave Redcar a telephone number for Kalle but have not heard anything from them since.

“I don’t even know if Kalle wants to return to race in the Premier League as I have not spoken to him.”

Monarchs are now gearing up for tomorrow’s KO Cup quarter-final first-leg clash at Ashfield following the washout of last night’s intended opening tie at Armadale just five minutes before the 7.30pm start time.

Asked whether this might now favour Monarchs in their quest to reach the semi-finals of a competition Monarchs last won in 1999, Campbell replied: “I think we would have swept Glasgow aside last night but for the weather intervening. But you never know what is going to happen when we go through to Ashfield, Andrew Tully for instance sometimes never gets going when he should be scoring points there. If Glasgow build up a 20-point lead round their home track, then that would make things a bit interesting.”

Despite the switch of legs, Tigers boss Stewart Dickson said: “I think we can do a good job at home, my only worry is over Josh Grajczonek, he has not been firing as solidly as he should be for us lately and this is a definite concern.

“With Armadale getting called off it’s more important than ever that we build up as big a lead as possible, especially as we have not done particularly well on our two visits to Armadale so far this year and the deciding leg might be difficult for us if we struggle at home. We were well beaten on both occasions, so all our team need to get their heads down and get stuck in.” And co-boss Alan Dick added: “Our fans know what this means and I think they will definitely be up for it, as will the Monarchs supporters.”

Fixture re-jig on the cards

Last night’s KO Cup quarter-final first leg tie between Edinburgh Monarchs and Glasgow Tigers was postponed due to a waterlogged track meaning Monarchs have riddden just two meetings at home over the last eight weeks because of the weather.

Tomorrow’s second leg tie at Ashfield now becomes the first leg (4pm start) with Monarchs hoping to rearrange what will be the second leg at Armadale next Friday.

Co-promoter John Campbell said: “That is our intention, providing Redcar Bears agree to come off that date, and we also have to check that Glasgow will be available to come through again.”

Monarchs had considered running their first leg tonight but quickly dismissed the prospect. Said Campbell: “It came into our heads and went straight out again. Trying to fix up ambulance and first aid cover was too difficult especially as Berwick Bandits run on a Saturday night.

“The forecast for tonight isn’t that great either. We ran once before on a Saturday night and had the smallest crowd in the history of Edinburgh speedway, so the idea passed through our minds at 100 miles perh hour!”